ANY reduction in local property tax must not be offset by increased council charges on business, Limerick Chamber has warned.
Councils are empowered to reduce property tax by a maximum of 15% in any one year. And while Sinn Fein, AAA and independent members in Limerick have already indicated they will look to go down this road, the view of the bigger parties controlling the council remains to be seen.
Limerick Chamber economist Dr Orlaith Borthwick, however, said councillors and management should identify clearly which services will be cut if property tax is reduced in Limerick.
“We respect the discretion which has been given at a local level. However, we need to stress that a reduction will reduce council revenues; before any adjustment is made the extent of this impact must be realised,” said Dr Borthwick.
“Businesses cannot fund any shortfall through an increase in commercial rates. Limerick’s local authority will invoice businesses in the city and county for €54 million this year; equating to 31% of council’s entire revenue. Businesses more than pay their fair share,” she stated, adding any increase in council charges would damage Limerick’s competitiveness as a location in which to invest.