Dublin City Council is warning a Moore Street butcher that its property rates are “not directly related” to any services it provides.
It comes after Stephen Troy of Troy's Family Butchers on Moore Street said he was refusing to pay the rates – and was willing to spend a week in prison as a result.
He accused the council of neglecting the street over many years – and said dereliction and anti-social behaviour are destroying businesses in the area.
“It is absolutely incredible that they have the audacity to be even charging businesses rates on Moore Street,” he told Newstalk over the weekend.
In a statement this morning, Dublin City Council said rates are a “tax on property” and are “not directly related to service provision”.
Mr Troy is calling for a “special circumstances” rates waiver on the street until a dispute over the planned 1916 memorial is dealt with.
UK company Hammerson has lodged judicial review proceedings against DCC over its decision to designate six buildings that played host to key moments of the 1916 Rising as protected structures.
The buildings remain derelict while the legal dispute rumbles on.
The council said it has no power to offer a rates waiver.
“There is no legislative provision or discretion to apply a rates reduction to any business in regard to any mitigating circumstances,” It said.
“Where ratepayers are experiencing financial difficulties, arrangements can be put in place, which allows rates to be paid on a basis that facilitates businesses to continue trading.”
DCC also defended its services in the Moore Street area – insisting a new programme of Moore Street Markets, which began last September, has “brought a new vitality to the street and an increased footfall”.
It said the 2023 calendar of markets includes a series of over 100 days of markets, “including special themed markets over the Summer and Autumn months”.
“These markets are additional to the existing retail and traditional market trading that is synonymous with Moore Street and there has been ongoing engagement with existing traders and retailers on the street and regular updates to local Councillors,” it said.
The council also said a new management and maintenance regime has been introduced to the street with paving upgrades completed, regular deep cleans of the street carried out and a programme of repainting of all street furniture ongoing.
The council said it will “continue to pay particular attention to Moore Street” and is currently considering lighting improvements in the area.
Main image shows a woman with her shopping trolley looking down to an empty Moore Street in Dublin, 25-03-2021. Image: Leon Farrell/RollingNews