Minister Peter Burke, Minister of State for Planning and Local Government, has announced another commercial rates package for local authorities totalling €160 million for the first quarter of 2021.
This is being provided to assist local authorities during the current further round of Government Covid-19 restrictions and to ensure businesses most affected by these restrictions are not facing commercial rates bills.
This three month waiver is more focused than the previous nine month waiver and Minister Burke has outlined that support to businesses will be targeted to those most severely impacted, such as hospitality, leisure, childcare, personal care, entertainment, retail (excluding large supermarkets), airports, health and service stations.
It is estimated that the extension of the waiver to these categories of business in the first quarter of 2021 will cost €160 million. The waiver of commercial rates beyond the first quarter of 2021 will be kept under review and considered in the context of public health guidelines.
Minister of State for Planning and Local Government, Peter Burke TD, said:
“I am committed to supporting businesses while also making sure our local authorities continue their own vital services to the public. Today I can confirm that commercial rates for those most severely impacted by public health requirements will continue to be waived for the first 3 months of 2021. To support local authorities in the continued delivery of key services and in their ongoing response to the COVID-19 crisis, this cost, expected to be approximately €160 million, will be met by the Exchequer.
“Local authorities have always worked with ratepayers of all types and will continue to do so in these uncertain times. This measure will assist local authorities to balance their obligations to levy rates with the vital need to support employment and economic activity. Local authorities will play a vital role in regenerating the post-COVID local economies and will engage with ratepayers to offer enterprise support, relevant to their circumstances.”
The Wexford County Council should automatically apply a three-month waiver as 25% of the value of the 2021 rates bill to eligible businesses and will take the form of a credit in lieu of rates if the business falls under the eligible business category.
If a business was in the excluded category, they may seek eligibility from Wexford County Council by emailing COVID.19Rates@wexfordcoco.ie with evidence of being impacted by the pandemic, to support their claim before the 28th of February 2021.
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