STRUGGLING Tralee businesses will be given a fighting chance of surviving the recession when rates are slashed following the abolition of the town council.
Tralee businesses could see their annual rates bill cut by up to €1,000 a year as a direct result of the abolition of Tralee Town Council and sweeping changes to rate setting rules which could see rates in the town drop by as much as five per cent.
Business owners in Tralee have given a warm welcome to the news.
Publican Der O'Sullivan of The Mall Tavern said that cutting rates could save many businesses.
'We would certainly welcome any cut to rates. It could help sustain the entire town and give some struggling businesses a fighting chance,' he said.
Hugh Culloty, pictured right, of Culloty Expert Electrical, said any cut to rates would 'not be before time' and would be 'extremely welcome' in what is a difficult time for many businesses.
Under the current local government system, businesses in Tralee, Killarney and Listowel pay rates at three different levels. Legislation to abolish town councils will end that system and see the introduction of a unified commercial rate for the entire county.
The new laws mean the large disparity between Tralee – which has the highest commercial rates in Ireland – and Killarney must end. The new universal rate is expected to lie somewhere in the middle, meaning Tralee rates could fall by up to five per cent a year, leading to savings of between €500 and €1,000 a year for businesses in the town.