Shannon Chamber Workshop to Examine Calculation and Use of Commercial Rates


With commercial rates continually cited by businesses as a compulsory drain on their finances, Shannon Chamber has taken the initiative to examine how rates are calculated and used in Co Clare.

The Chamber is inviting all Clare based businesses to attend a workshop in the Oakwood Arms Hotel in Shannon on Thursday, 5 March 2014 at which rates expert Tony O’Brien from Irida Consulting will give an in-depth presentation on commercial rates and the level of dependence and need for rates at county level. He will also address how Councils are changing and their likely future development, and will show how they allocate rates. The briefing, which will commence at 7.30am and conclude at 10a.m., provides businesses with the opportunity to present their concerns and suggestions for input into a follow-up meeting with Clare County Council.

Shannon Chamber chief executive said that a workshop of this nature will be of immense benefit to businesses.

“We continually get feedback from members about rates and have held workshops on the topic in the past. We are now taking a different approach; inviting companies to look at rates from the Council’s perspective and to then see how their comments and suggestions can be incorporated into future rates planning.”

The two-hour briefing will inform businesses on how commercial rates are determined and used in Clare; show where decisions are made; demonstrate the level of dependence on and the need for rates income; outline the profile of the rates base in Clare and identify factors that are unique to Clare; and look at issues that Clare businesses have and how they can be developed and presented to Council Executives and Councillors.

This session will be followed up by  Shannon Chamber to develop and draw up the content of a submission to present to Clare County Council with a view to making a presentation to the Executive and Councillors.

“We’re delighted to have Tony O’Brien as a guest presenter. He has worked with KPMG and Grant Thornton and has acted as a consultant to many organisations in the public sector in general and local authorities in particular. He led the team that prepared the 1996 KPMG Study on the Funding of Local Government in Ireland for the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. This provided the basis for the establishment of the Local Government Fund; a key element of local government funding until its recent replacement by the Local Property Tax.  For a number of years, he advised the Department of the Environment on its annual budget submission to the Department of Finance.   He carried out a range of studies for the Department such as the distribution of the Local Government Fund and assessing the impact of National Development plans on the day-to-day expenditure of local authorities.  He has also advised many City and County Councils on an individual basis.  Tony is Chairman of the Local Government Policy Committee of Chambers Ireland; is a member of the Board of the Housing Agency and a member of the Limerick City and County Audit Committee.

“The workshop promises to be highly productive and highly informative,” added Ms Downes.

For further information or to make a booking, contact Shannon Chamber at 061 708341 or email: