Rates income drop for Council

The amount of money collected through commercial rates in Co Leitrim dropped to just 72 percent in 2011 with a growing number of businesses either in arrears or shutting their doors in the last 12 months.

The amount of money collected through commercial rates in Co Leitrim dropped to just 72 percent in 2011 with a growing number of businesses either in arrears or shutting their doors in the last 12 months.

Addressing the February Council meeting, County Manager, Jackie Maguire, admitted that this had put pressure on the limited resources available to the Council.

“This drop is obviously a reflection of the economic times we are living in and the difficulty that businesses are having paying bills,” she acknowledged.

“If this situation continues to deteriorate it will have an effect on the kind of services that we will be able to provide.”

She noted that a number of people had already entered payment plans and Director of Services, Finance, Catriona Murphy, stressed that all businesses experiencing difficulty in paying should arrange to meet with the Council to discuss their options.

“We can develop an individual payment plan to suit each business and their cash flow,” she said after queries by Cllr Mary Bohan and Cllr Enda Stenson.

Cllr Gerry Kilrane said it was clear that the current system of rates evaluation was “simply not working”. “We need to address this and seek a more equitable system,” he said.