Tullamore Chamber campaigns for rates fairness

The Tullamore and District Chamber of Commerce have launched a campaign to have commercial rates charged to businesses in Tullamore reduced to levels charged in Athlone and Mullingar.

The Tullamore and District Chamber of Commerce have launched a campaign to have commercial rates charged to businesses in Tullamore reduced to levels charged in Athlone and Mullingar.

Annual rates charged to businesses in Tullamore are 11% higher than in Athlone and Tullamore businesses pay over 19% more than their counterparts in Mullingar. In addition, rate payers in Tullamore pay over 16% more than businesses outside of the town.

Tullamore Chamber says that since the economic downturn, the business sector has cut costs wherever possible but adds that the one cost item that they have most difficulty in meeting and which has not fallen in line with other costs is the local authority rate burden.

The Chamber notes that with virtually all businesses suffering significant reductions in income in recent years, rates charges have become a larger proportion of business costs and are having an increasingly negative impact on business survival and employment.

It has submitted a proposal to the Tullamore Town Council based on establishing rates charges equal to our Midland Gateway sister towns of Athlone and Mullingar over the next two years.

President of the Tullamore and District Chamber of Commerce Joe O’Brien remarked, “As the county town of Offaly, the Chamber believes that a vibrant and economically successful Tullamore is a key aspect to the social and economic development of the county and is critical if we in Offaly are to play a significant role in the ongoing development of the region.

“We believe that the inequity in rates charges within the Gateway places our retailers and service providers at a distinct cost base disadvantage and is a likely threat to current and potential indigenous and foreign direct investment in our county town,” he stated.

The Chamber has welcomed Dublin City Council’s recent announcement on rates reduction for 2012 and expects that this announcement will provide a lead for Tullamore Town Council.

The Chamber has met with council officials to discuss the rates reduction proposal. Copies of the proposal have been sent to all Tullamore Town Councillors and the Chamber hopes to discuss commercial rates with Town Councillors in the near future.

The proposal has also been sent to the Tullamore electoral County Councillors and local Dail representatives.