What are Commercial Rates?
Commercial Rates are essentially a property tax on commercial premises. Commercial rates form approximately 45% of Galway City Council's income in 2016. They are not a charge for a specific service. Income generated from rates is used for the provision of a wide range of general services within the City area. Rates are the financial contribution business owners and occupiers make to the upkeep and quality of life of the local community. Income received from rates contributes to a range of services such as:
- Public Lighting
- Street Cleaning
- Roads and Footpath Upkeep
- Fire Service
- Parks and Open Spaces
- Environmental Protection
- Heritage, Tourism, Public Amenities and the Arts
- Community Support and initiatives
Who can be held liable for Commercial Rates?
The person liable for Commercial Rates is the person in actual occupation at the making of the rate for the year.
How are Commercial Rates Calculated?
Your rates are calculated by multiplying the Annual Rate on Valuation (ARV), as determined by the City Council, by the valuation on your property, as determined by the Commissioner of Valuation. Your Commercial Rates can be calculated by reference of the example below:
The Annual Rate on Valuation for 2017 is €67.40
Calculation of 2017 Rate Demand
Annual Rate on Valuation
Who can I contact regarding my Commercial Rates Demand?
Please contact Commercial Rates by email or telephone regarding your current Rates Demand:
- Email: Rates@galwaycity.ie
- Tel: 091 536401/091 536856
Areas of Galway covered by each Rate Collector
Tina Booth Claire Brogan Mairead Curran
- Nun's Island
- Taylor's Hill
- Headford Road
- Liosban / Kilkerrin
- Sean Mulvoy
- Tuam Road (Liosbaun side)
- Lough Atalia
- Merlin Park
- Tuam Road (Rocca Tiles side)
Tina Booth Claire Brogan Mairead Curran
- Abbeygate St. Lower
- Ball Alley Lane
- Bridge St.
- Buttermilk Lane
- Castle St.
- Corbett Court
- Court House Lane
- Cross St. Lower
- Cross St. Upper
- Dominick St (right from Bridge Mills)
- Eyre Square (3 sides bar Hibernian House side)
- Eyre Square Centre
- Flood St.
- Forthill St.
- High St.
- Kirwans Lane
- Mainguard St. (left going down)
- Merchants Road
- Middle St.
- New Dock St.
- Quay St.
- St. Augustine St.
- St. Patrick's Ave.
- Shop St. (left going down)
- Spanish Parade
- The Long Walk
- Victoria Place
- White Hall
- William St. (left going down)
- William St. West (Roisin Dubh's side)
- Abbeygate St. Upper
- Abbey Lane
- Bohermore (odd nos)
- Bowling Green
- Church Yard St.
- Church Lane
- Cookes Terrace
- Dominick St (left from Bridge Mills)
- Eglinton St.
- Eyre Square (Hibernian House side)
- Galway Shopping Centre
- Headford Road
- Lombard St.
- Mainguard St. (right going down)
- Market St.
- Mary St.
- Michael Walsh Terrace
- Prospect Hill (odd nos)
- Rosemary Ave.
- St. Francis St.
- St. Vincent's Ave.
- Shop St. (right going down)
- Water Lane.
- William St. (right going down)
- William St. West (Monroe's side)
- Bohermore (even nos)
- College Road
- Forster St
- Frenchville Lane
- Prospect Hill (even nos)
How do I pay my Commercial Rates?
Commercial Rates can be paid in the following ways:
- Direct Debit - You can pay by Direct Debit. Please complete the Direct Debit form. Payment is deducted from your nominated bank account on the 16th of each month.
- Standing Order - The Standing Order Form can be downloaded from the website and sent to your bank directly.
- Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) - Please note the following bank details if making payments. The Commercial Rate Account No should be used as the reference.
Bank of Ireland, Eyre Square, Galway
Galway City Council
IE22 BOFI 9038 1612 9110 47
- Credit Card, Laser or Cash - Please ring Commercial Rates at 091 536401 / 091 536856, or alternatively contact the Rate Collector.
What is the Annual Rate on Valuation and how is it calculated?
Following the consideration of the Annual Budget each year, the City Councillors determine the Annual Rate on Valuation for the following year. The Annual Rate on Valuation is the product obtained when the total shortfall in Council income is divided by the cumulative total of all valuations of rateable premises in the city.
The shortfall between the cost of providing all services and the income from Government funding is recouped through the collection of Rates. The Annual Rate on Valuation usually increases in line with the annual rate of inflation. The Annual Rate on Valuation for 2017 is €67.40
All fixed properties have a rateable valuation, but rates are only payable on commercial/industrial properties. Rateable valuations are determined by the Commissioner of Valuation and not by the Local Authority. The rateable valuation is used by the Local Authority to determine the commercial rates payable by each ratepayer.
The Valuation Act, 2001 came into effect on the 2nd of May 2002 and it is the basis for the present rating system.
The Valuation List that was in force on the 2nd May 2002 is maintained by reference to values of comparable properties in the same rating area, which were in the list at that date. This is referred to as maintaining the "tone of the List" by means of continuous revision. These existing valuations were calculated on the basis of their Net Annual Value (the annual rent less the cost of repairs, insurance and maintenance) as at November 1988.
Various classifications of property exist under The Valuations Act, 2001 i.e.
- Relevant Property Rateable - (List rateable). All Rateable Property are itemised in schedule three, these are the types of property, which form the core of the rateable list and will form the valuation base for the budget meetings by the local authority.
- Relevant Property Not Rateable - (List not Rateable). This refers to buildings or land occupied by the state e.g. Defence Forces or Garda Síochána.
- Relevant Property Not Rateable - (Non List). Essentially this refers to Agricultural Land, farm buildings and domestic items.
- Relevant Property Not Rateable -(Non List Exempt). Non-List Exempt Property are itemised from Section 7 to 19 of Schedule 4.
Can I have my valuation revised?
Requests for revision of valuation are normally instigated by Local Authorities, but any owner or occupier of a rateable property can apply for revision directly to the Valuation Office provided that there has been a material change of circumstance in the property since it was previously valued. In brief, a material change of circumstance means a physical alteration or new building, total or partial demolition, or a sub division or amalgamation of relevant property. A change of Valuation status (e.g. from domestic to commercial or vice versa) is also deemed to be a material change of circumstance.
In general, Galway City Council will automatically list new properties for valuation - or those where significant alterations have taken place. Any person who is an interest holder in a property to which the Valuation Act 2001 refers, may on payment of the prescribed fee apply for a revision of valuation to the Commissioner of Valuation.
How do I contact the Valuation Office?
General Contact Details:
Block 2, Irish Life Centre, Abbey Street Lower, Dublin 1
Tel: +353-1 817 1000
Fax: +353-1 817 1180
Public Office Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays: 9.15am to 4.30pm
What happens with Rates when I am selling or vacating my property?
Under Section 32 of the Local Government Reform Act 2014 an owner is required to notify the local authority where there is a change in the person ordinarily liable for rates on his/her property, ie where there is a change in ownership, change in tenancy or where a tenant vacates and is not replaced immediately. Where the owner is selling the property, it is their duty to discharge all rates for which he or she is liable for at the date of transfer of the property.
It is normal practice at the time of a sale or transfer of property that an apportionment account is drawn up between the parties concerned, whereby each party pays the portion of rates for his/her period of occupancy. However, this is an entirely private arrangement, which does not affect liability as far as the Local Authority is concerned. In the event of non-payment of rates due at the time of sale, either party or both parties can be sued for non-payment of any portion of the rates.
What happens if I don't pay my Rates?
Failure to pay your Rates by the specified period will result in legal proceedings being issued, followed by a Court Summons. The City Council may also register the debt as a judgement mortgage on the property.
Are Rates payable on vacant property?
Yes, from January 2015, Landlords will be liable for 50% of the total commercial rates due in respect of their vacant commercial premises, provided that it can be shown that the property is vacant due to one the following reasons:-
- The bonafide inability of the landlord to obtain a suitable tenant at a reasonable rent
- The execution of repairs/alterations
- Vacant due to demolition or redevelopment.
Rates must be paid in full for the period claimed, and where there is a sum due to Galway City Council by the applicant under any enactment, at the point when the refund is to be paid, then the Local Authority are empowered to set-off the monies from the refund against this debt. (This is in accordance with Section 7 of the Local Government (Financial Provisions) (No.2) Act, 1983.
Full commercial rates are liable in respect of vacant commercial properties unless a fully completed application form for the 50% reduction is made. In the event of non-payment, the City Council will have recourse to legal action.
I have just opened a business. What rates do I pay?
This depends on whether it's a newly constructed property or an existing rated property.
Newly constructed premises will require to be valued by the Valuation Office before Rates become payable. Galway City Council will list new constructed promises for valuation. This involves an inspection of the premises by one of their qualified Valuers following which you will be notified of the proposed valuation. There is an appeal procedure should you wish to avail of it.
If you are taking over an existing rated property, then you will be liable for the existing Rates applicable to the premises. Extensive alterations will involve a revaluation. If you require information on the level of Rates applicable to that premises, you may contact any of the persons mentioned above.
We recommend that if you are opening a new business, that you contact the Rates department of Galway City Council to discuss the rates for your premises.
I have closed my business. Is the property still liable for Rates?
Yes, rates are payable on all valued commercial/industrial property. However where such a property becomes vacant, the owner is liable for 50% of the Commercial Rates due for the vacant period, provided it can be shown that:
- (1) the property was available for letting or,
- (2) the property was undergoing alteration, renovations or repairs,
- (3) Property was vacant due to demolition or redevelopment.
Full Commercial rates are liable in respect of vacant properties unless a fully completed application form for the 50% reduction is made.
I am leasing premises, who pays the Rates? The Owner or Myself?
The occupier of a premises is legally liable for payment of Rates on the premises.
When are Commercial Rates due?
Rates are payable in two parts each year. The first payment is payable upon issue of the yearly Rates Demand, normally during the month of February/March.
The second and final payment is due on the 1st July. If you wish to discuss alternative payment options such as direct debit or standing orders, please contact the Rates Collector for your area.
I am in difficulty with my Rates Bill - What should I do?
Please contact your Rates Collector as soon as possible and your situation can be discussed in confidence.
What happens if there is a Change of Occupant mid-year?
Owners of Commercial Properties are now obliged to notify the Local Authority, within 14 days of the transfer date, where there is a change in occupation of their property, i.e. when there is a change in tenancy or where a property is being sold, including where a property becomes vacant. The person transferring the property, either the owner or occupier are legally required to discharge all commercial rates for which he/she is liable at the date of transfer.
I am taking over a premises - What should I do about the Rates?
It is very important to check with the Rates Section that all rates are paid up to date; to find out the rates liability on the premises, and methods of payment available for payment of same.
What is the Pilot Commercial Rates Payment Incentive Scheme 2017?
The scheme applies to property occupiers whose annual rates moiety is less than €5000, providing a grant of a maximum of 5% of the annual moiety.
This grant is subject to payment in full of the 2017 rates, together with any outstanding arrears (if applicable), by the 30th of June 2017.
The grant will be automatically applied to the payer’s account at the end of the year to be offset against the 2018 rates bill.
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