CBA calls for commercial rates to be abolished for 12 months
‘It is imperative that we protect as much employment as possible.’
That’s the clarion call of the Cork Business Association as its members demand that Local Authority Commercial Rates on all businesses impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic be abolished for a period of 12 months.
The organisation has released a list of five key initiatives it believes will support business recovery and preserve jobs and it says that commercial rates, a local property tax charged on shops, offices, factories, warehouses, hotels and licensed premises throughout the city, should be first to go.
“There are certain categories of business for which commercial rates are a significant portion of their cost base and we want to see relief in this area to ensure these businesses are enabled to survive and to minimise job losses.” said the CBA in a statement.
“The stark reality is many businesses do not have nor will have for the foreseeable future the necessary cash flow to pay commercial rates thereby forcing many to close. This is the worst possible outcome for all parties resulting in job losses, ongoing revenue loss to Local Authorities and the vista of boarded-up premises on our streets.”
The CBA called on the Government to fund Local Authorities to ensure impacted businesses are “relieved of this burden for a twelve-month period”.
The organisation suggests that a supplementary commercial rates review could be conducted by each Local Authority in 2021. Businesses that are determined to be fragile and in recovery mode could be offered a further rates exemption of three to six months, applied on a case by case basis.
The CBA is also asking the government to introduce measures to underwrite commercial rents on impacted businesses for the duration of the crisis, extend the VAT return deadline and introduce a zero per cent VAT rate for hospitality, tourism and services sectors for a six month period from March to August 2020.