LIMERICK City and County Council has begun legal proceedings in recovering rates from 25 businesses who haven’t paid up, according to head of finance Tom Gilligan.
Mr Gilligan was responding to questions from councillors on the annual financial statement for Limerick City Council as at December 31, 2013.
Rates arrears at that date stood at in excess of €20 million.
Cllr Joe Leddin, Labour, said it was disappointing after the great efforts made by the council in reducing commercial rates in recent years - and flexible payment plans for businesses in arrears - that collection remained an issue.
Mr Gilligan said it was a matter of regret that it wasn’t always possible to agree a way forward with commercial debtors. Legal action was a last resort but an option the council would take when others were exhausted.
“We have recently submitted 25 cases for legal pursual,” Mr Gilligan said.
Limerick City Council, he added, was “not doing too badly” compared to other local authorities.
The latest available data showed rates arrears in Limerick City Council at the end of 2012 at around €19m, the same level as in Cork City Council, while the figures for Galway City Council and Dublin City Council stood at €17m and €76m respectively on the same date.