A new system with regard to rates demands issued this week has caused confusion, misunderstanding and anger among ratepayers and county councils have an onus to come out and explain this new system to the business people.
I have been contacted bya number of constituents over the past couple of days who have recieved their commercial rates demands and who are very confiused and angry at what they got in the post. Under a new system the full rate appears on the demand but it emerges that a multiplier must be used to calculate the exact figure owed. In the case of Roscommon the actual demand is 25% of the figure shown. Roscommon and other county councils should have gone out and explained the changes to the system to the people affected before sending out these bills which are causing widespread confusion and misunderstanding.
Even after using the multiplier many small business people have found that their rates have gone up by up to 50%. Many of these demands will have to go appeal before the 27th February. A lot of small businesses will go to the wall if their rates bill keeps going up every year. Many complain that they get little or no services for the huge amounts of money they pay in rates every year as it is. County councils will have to be realistic when setting rates bills for businesses around the country. I am asking Roscommon and Galway county councils to come out and explain clearly to ratepayers about how this new system works. What went on this week is totally unacceptable.