Coghlan calls for parking rates levy

KERRY Fine Gael Senator Paul Coghlan (pictured right) is calling for commercial rates to be levied on car parks at out-of-town retail centres in a bid to boost town centre businesses.

KERRY Fine Gael Senator Paul Coghlan (pictured right) is calling for commercial rates to be levied on car parks at out-of-town retail centres in a bid to boost town centre businesses.

Senator Coghlan has introduced a Private Members Bill aiming to amend the 2001 Valuation Bill to make car parking space attached to a retail outlets subject to rateable valuation.

The levy would be based on the revenue that would be generated from the space if it were charged at the current value imposed on street parking by the local authority in an urban area.

He said the change could generate additional income for local authorities and address the "glaring inequity" between town centre businesses and those in out-of-town retail centres.

"This inequity, if left unchecked, will contribute to the erosion of the social, economic and community functions of Irish town centres and lead to dereliction, urban decay and the associated costs imposed on the wider society," said Senator Paul Coghlan.

"There is a critical need to look at the way in which the development of new out-of-town retail centres with large surface car parks are treated from a rates perspective in terms of the social and economic cost that they are imposing on town centres," he added.

Minister of State for Housing and Planning Jan O'Sullivan said the Government would not oppose the Bill, but cautioned that any change to valuation practices would have to be carefully considered.

Kerryman

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