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Dublin: 19 °C Monday 25 May, 2020

Dublin businesses facing 'unfair' rates hike as city council set to vote on annual budget

Councillors were warned last week that a shortfall in the council’s budget requires “significant additional income”.

Councillors are set to meet tonight in City Hall.
Councillors are set to meet tonight in City Hall.
Image: Eamonn Farrell/

DUBLIN LORD MAYOR Paul McAuliffe has said that Dublin businesses are facing an “unfair increase” to rates after accusing the government of ignoring calls to stop rates being paid by Irish Water being diverted away from the capital.

It comes as the council is set to vote on its annual budget tonight with councillors warned that last week that “significant additional income must be raised if services are to be maintained”. 

The funding issues this year are due, in part, to increased council costs stemming from a loss of rates income worth €8.4 million on Irish Water-owned properties, which will not be compensated by Central Government despite prior assurances. 

In a letter to the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, McAuliffe outlined how the council was recently informed by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government that a decision had been made to distribute money paid by Irish Water in rates on a “population apportionment basis”.

It means that some councils will lose out while others will gain. Dublin City is one of those that will lose out. 

Under the system beforehand, Dublin City Council had received €14.6 million. However, next year, the council will only receive €6.2 million. 

McAuliffe said: “The consequence of this decision is that other local authorities will receive windfall gains… these authorities will no doubt use the Irish Water-related funding for new services in their community.”

In a tweet sharing this letter, the lord mayor said that this measure from government “will result in an unfair increase rates. Possibly 3 to 4%”. 

Councillors now have a week to thrash out the annual budget for next year, and McAuliffe told it’s likely it would pass. 

With reporting from Cónal Thomas

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