Longford Town Council has agreed to reduce commercial rates in the town by one percent this year. The reduction which was speculated upon in last week’s Leader will mean a saving of €18-€40 per year per premises and an increase of in or around €32,000 to the local authority’s budget.
“The average business will only gain by €40 per year with this reduction,” said Cllr Paul Connell (Ind), adding that it would have been “much more beneficial” to address parking charges in the town, which he said, were “preventing people from coming into shop in the town centre”.
“We should go back to Tesco and ask them if they would give three hours parking for the price of two.”
Cllr Peggy Nolan (FG) then told the meeting that while the budget proposed “was tight”, she held “major concerns” about retail trade in Longford town. “We must do everything that we can to help and support retailers in this town,” she added.
Cllr Gerry Warnock (Ind) then summed up the mood of the meeting. “It would be an insult to ratepayers to only make a one percent reduction,” he snapped. “I appreciate that we can’t go much higher, but really it would be a lot better if we could provide a five percent reduction in the rates, to be honest.”
“Could we not take money from the ‘Special Projects’ budget and pass on a three or a four percent reduction to the rate payer as a result?”, questioned Cllr Tony Flaherty.
To read more on this story, see this week’s Longford Leader.