Hotles given more time to pay local authority rates
LOCAL authorities in Kerry last night denied offering discounts to hotels unable to pay local authority rates, but said some businesses have been allowed to pay the charges over longer periods.
It came after the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) said concessions being granted in the south west should be extended across the country.
The IHF told the Irish Independent that a small number of local authorities in the south west had adopted what its members see as "a realistic approach" to the issue by providing discounts to businesses in severe difficulty.
IHF president Paul Gallagher said it was a sign that the "dam is breaking" after months of lobbying central and local government for a discount to the €90m rates bill paid by the hotel sector annually.
Sources said Tralee and Killarney town councils as well as Kerry County Council were among the local authorities that have done deals with IHF members over unpaid rates.
However, a spokesman for the local authorities in Kerry was adamant that no discounts on rates bills have been given to businesses in the county.
He said deals have been done with a number of businesses on an individual basis, allowing them to pay the charges over an extended period. The deals had only been done where the businesses were able to back up claims of distress with company accounts.