Dublin Sports Clubs To Discuss Commercial Rates Legislation

The Chair of the Dublin City Council Strategic Policy Committee on Culture, Sport and Community, has called a meeting of sports clubs from across Dublin to outline Fianna Fail's proposals aimed at driving down commercial rates on the clubs.

Under the proposed legislation sports clubs across the country that have a licensed bar on site would see their commercial rates reduced and extra money freed up to invest in maintaining or expanding facilities.

Councillor Mary Fitzpatrick has said that it would mean clubs will only be liable to be charged rates on the part of their property which is licensed to sell alcohol.

"I fully understand the burden that commercial rates can be for many clubs,"

Councillor Fitzpatrick said. "While it is reasonable to ask clubs to pay rates for revenue generating bar facilities I think it is only fair that dressing rooms and sports halls should be exempt.

"If the government was to adopt the Fianna Fail legislation and redefine how the rates are applied, clubs could get some much needed relief from heavy rates bills and as a result have more funds to invest in their facilities."

The meeting, to held today in Leinster House, has been called to hear the views of club members and officials and to get their feedback on the proposed legislation, Councillor Fitzpatrick said.

She will be joined by Barry Cowen TD, Fianna Fail spokesperson on Environment and Local Government, who is bringing forward the ‘Valuation Bill 2014' in the Oireachtas.

Councillor Fitzpatrick outlined the need for changes in the law which covers the valuation of property because at the moment sports clubs are being charged commercial rates on dressing rooms and sports halls as well as their bar.

"Commercial rates can be a huge burden for many clubs and I think now is the time to redefine how those rates are applied," Councillor Fitzpatrick said. "Under the proposed legislation clubs will only be liable to be charged rates on the part of their property which is licensed to sell alcohol. This will free up extra money for cash strapped clubs to invest in enhancing their facilities.

"There has been a major reduction in sporting grants in recent years and I think implementing this change in the law would be a shot in the arm a lot of clubs need."


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