Retailers want overhaul of the rates system
Retail Ireland wants the link between rents and rates broken, as part of a wider overhaul of local authority charges.
"Serious deficiencies in the current system result in over €200m in uncollected rates each year," according to Retail Ireland, a branch of employer's group Ibec.
The group has launched a new policy paper, 'Tackling the rates burden', which calls for a major overhaul of the rates system.
A new centralised collection process should be rolled out, according to the report, to replace the current 31 separate authorities that collect rates.
The Revenue Commissioners should be made responsible for collection of commercial rates, it said, and methods used to calculate commercial rates - including a link to rents - needs to be reformed.
Describing the Irish retail sector as a "driving force" in the Irish economy, which employs over 280,000 people in every town and village across the country, Tom Burke, Director of Retail Ireland, said that the sector is also the biggest contributor to the Irish exchequer generating 23pc of total tax receipts in Ireland.
"Urgent action is needed to address the threat to the sector's competitiveness posed by the current dysfunctional local authority rates system if we are to maintain retail’s key economic and social role in Irish society," Mr Burke said.