Businesses in Mayo face closure over rising rates bills

BUSINESSES in Mayo will close unless rates costs are addressed.

Some are facing big increases following a national rates revaluation, and there have been pleas for the time allowed for appeals to be extended.

The issue was raised at the monthly meeting of Mayo County Council by Westport-based Councillor Christy Hyland who has received representations from several business owners.

In one case, a rates bill had risen from €1,000 to €5,000 while another business person saw their bill jump from €7,000 to €18,000.

Appeals, said Councillor Hyland, had to be lodged before November 2 but due to demand on engineers and accountants the time was too tight for many to appeal.

Accusing the government of not being in touch with reality, he warned that businesses will close and they had to put a stop to it.

Belmullet-based Councillor Gerry Coyle said he is one of the people affected, with the rates bill for his filling station jumping from €3,500 to €13,700.

Turnover, he explained, has gone up as the cost of petrol and diesel have risen, but the margins were actually less.

Cases were also highlighted by Councillor Michael Loftus who warned a lot of businesses will close.

Councillor Richard Finn said people hadn't been given enough time to make appeals and had also found it difficult to get professionals to do the necessary work.

He suggested they write to the valuations office requesting at least another month, which was agreed.

Requested that the deadline be extended wasn't a massive ask, suggested Councillor Brendan Mulroy.