Ann Doherty, Chief Executive of Cork City Council. Photo: Diane Cusack

Commercial rate hike in Cork city

Increased Government funding for local authorities has been called for to avoid further commercial rate rises in Cork city.

That was the sentiment of Cork Chamber CEO Conor Healy, following an agreement to increase commercial rates by 3.8% at Cork City Council’s annual budget meeting on Tuesday night.

He said: “The Chamber is concerned about any rise in rates and its effect on businesses’ viability in the middle of an energy and inflation crisis. While rebate schemes will help, these increases will be a burden on many already challenged businesses. Cork City Council needs to continue to invest significantly in economic development and marketing activities which would drive additional business to offset some of the impact.”

He added: “The real issue here is the inadequate level of central government funding for local authorities. Currently businesses are picking up the tab for a legacy of underfunding of city and county councils by central government but this cannot continue.”

Councillors agreed an expenditure budget of €268 million for 2023 at the meeting, an increase of €28 million on 2022. They voted 24 for and 5 against.

The income from commercial rates represents 38% of the total income of the city council. Since 2009, the council has increased commercial rates by a cumulative 1.2% which City Hall said is below the cumulative inflation rate for that 13 year period.

Cork City Council Chief Executive, Ann Doherty said: “The budget provides funding measures aimed at addressing some strategically important areas and provides a reasonable balance across the competing objective of developing the social, cultural, economic, environmental and infrastructural needs of the city in a socially inclusive manner that council is charged with progressing.”