Thursday 17 August 2017

City centre businesses vote marginally to keep DublinTown scheme

Grafton Street, Dublin. Stock Image
Grafton Street, Dublin. Stock Image

Ryan Nugent

Dublin city's business have voted marginally in favour of keeping the Dublin Town Business Improvement District (BID) levy with almost half of more than 1,500 votes opting against the scheme.

It comes after a large campaign in opposition to the BID scheme in recent months.

However, with a victory of 843 votes to 715, BID has been given a mandate to continue their service.

It means that 46pc of the businesses will be expected to pay a yearly levy against their will.

The levy is around 5pc on top of Dublin City Council rates.

The scheme has been in place to offer a number of services in the upkeep, improvement and promotion of the city centre.

Though, it is understood the opposition 'No to BID' will now launch a campaign for businesses to boycott the payment.

Independent councillor, Mannix Flynn insisted that the despite the mandate, "this was not a victory for BID" and has put pressure on Council chief, Owen Keegan for its removal.

"This campaign is only beginning. We have almost 750 premises who voted no," he said.

"They don't want to pay this extra levy. This will be a campaign of disobedience - can't pay, won't pay," he added.

Meanwhile, councillor Nial Ring hailed the victory.

"We can now assure the City Centre business members, even those who vote no, that the additional services provided by BIDS to its members can now continue without a 34pc increase in the BIDS levy as stated by the no side," he said.

"We will have Christmas lights on 30 City Centre streets, we will have the rapid response litter/dumping clean up, we will have graffiti removal from private property and we will continue the hugely popular and essential ambassador services" he added.

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