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New grant designed to offset rates increase


Anton McNulty

Mayo County Council has set out details of a support scheme for business owners facing increased commercial rates in the county.
Last December, members of Mayo County Council agreed to increase the commercial rate by 7.5 percent. However, they also announced a business-support scheme that means that 81 percent of ratepayers will not feel the impact.
The agreement followed many hours of negotiations between the majority Fianna Fáil and Independent group and members of the Council executive.
Last week, Director of Finances with Mayo County Council, Peter Duggan explained why the rate increases were needed.
“As the county begins to recover, there is a requirement for increased investment in services, which requires additional funding. Therefore 2018 sees an increase in the annual commercial rate of 7.5 percent to €73.92. This is the first increase in the County rate in over a decade. In conjunction with this rate increase we are pleased to announce the introduction of the Small Business Support Scheme, to assist our smaller businesses to defray this increase,” he said.
To qualify, a small business applying for the scheme must have a ‘rateable’ valuation of €125 or less. The grant is calculated with reference to the commercial valuation of business properties with a 7.5 percent grant for a business with valuation below €75; a 5 percent grant for a business with valuation of between €75.01 and €100; and a 3 percent grant for a business with valuation of between €100.01 and €125.
The 2018 Commercial Rates, net of Business Support Grant, must also be paid in full on or before July 31, 2018. However the payment date will be extended to December 10, 2018, if customers choose to pay by electronic means, such as a standing order, EFT or single debit payment.
The Small Business Support Scheme will not apply where a business is already availing of another support/incentive scheme operated by Mayo County Council.

Vacant properties
Commercial rates for vacant properties were also changed. Previously, vacant business properties were eligible for 100 percent relief of the rates billed, but this year will see a reduction in the level of relief to 90 percent. This means that vacant units are now liable for 10 percent of the 2018 rates billed, even if it remains unoccupied.
Customers with queries about the Mayo County Council Small Business Support Scheme or general rates queries can email rates@mayococo.ie.

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