Friday, April 24, 2015

Minister encourages local authorities to engage constructively on historic commercial rates

Fine Gael TD for Meath East, Regina Doherty, has called on Meath County Council to engage with Ratoath GAA club to resolve its outstanding rates bill in the spirit of the amendment to the Valuation Act which gave partial relief or exemption from commercial rates to all sports clubs which had some commercial activity. Deputy Doherty was speaking in the Dáil on the matter today (Thursday).

“Earlier this month we enacted a very welcome amendment to the Valuation Act which gave partial relief or exemption from commercial rates to all sports clubs which had some commercial activity, be it a small bar or renting out some of their AstroTurfs.


“We did that because we recognised it was unfair to rate the entire club, which is a voluntary organisation and which is the backbone of probably all our communities, on the basis of it having a small bar or renting out its AstroTurf.


“In Ratoath my local GAA club which, historically, has had a commercial rates bill that is astronomical. The club has not been able to afford it for the past number of years because the entire complex was rated.


“The GAA club in Ratoath wants to pay what is owed but it only wants to pay what is fair and what it can afford.


“Today I met my colleague Paudie Coffey, the Fine Gael Minister of State at the Department of the Environment who told me that he expects local authorities to engage with clubs to sort out outstanding bills in the spirit of the new law.


“This is an example of a piece of legislation that will have a very real impact on local communities. The Government is committed to improving facilities and services in all regions of the country.


“I am calling on Meath County Council to engage with Rathoath GAA club in the spirit of this new law.”

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