Laois County Council County Hall in Portlaoise.
Laois County Council is acutely aware of the potential issues and unprecedented challenges facing ratepayers impacted by the current COVID–19 crisis. Businesses in the county should contact the Council’s Rate Department or Revenue Collector to discuss their individual situations and agree appropriate arrangements.
During this time of crisis and national public health emergency the Council continues to deliver essential services such as housing and homeless services, fire and emergency services, road maintenance and traffic safety, water supply and waste water treatment as well as waste and recycling services.
The Council says rates are a very significant source of income to this Council and it is critical that ratepayers who can pay their commercial rates should continue to do so in the normal way.
The Government agreed with local authorities on March 20 that they should agree to defer rates payments due from the most immediately impacted businesses - primarily in the retail, hospitality, leisure and childcare sectors, for three months, until end-May.
It said this measure will be implemented by each local authority in its own area.
Local authorities are working as part of the State’s co-ordinated response to dealing with the Public Health threat posed by COVID-19, while also helping to ensure that the impacts on communities, businesses and other stakeholders are minimised.
A statement issued by by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government said councils are acutely aware of the potential issues faced by their ratepayers. In particular, in the first instance, businesses, such as those in the hospitality sector, small and medium retailers, leisure and childcare areas, have been identified as those that could be adversely affected.
The Government said it is engaging with business owners and representative bodies nationally, while each local authority is engaging with its ratepayers and representative groups, monitoring the impacts at this stage of the COVID-19 response and keeping the evolving situation under review.
The statement said individual local authorities are dealing with difficulties experienced by rate payers on a case by case basis. They are taking account of business pressures at this extraordinary time in terms of collection of rates and enforcement, in the sectors most impacted so far.
While the identified types of businesses may be most impacted initially, local authorities are also conscious that there may be impacts on other categories of ratepayers as the impact of COVID-19 and responses evolve and are monitoring the situation closely.
The Government says tha tany commercial ratepayers that have had to temporarily close or significantly curtail operations during the COVID-19 response period should contact their local authority immediately in relation to any rates payments falling due in the period to end-May. Ratepayers that can continue to pay their local authority rates should continue to do so in the normal way.
Contact the Commercial Rates Department at firstname.lastname@example.org