The Dáil will vote on Tuesday on the final stages of the new Valuations Bill including reforms to commercial rates.
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform Sean Fleming has announced the party will move an amendment to the Bill which would exempt all properties taking part in providing the free pre-school year from paying commercial rates.
Deputy Fleming commented: “We want to level the playing field for all childcare facilities taking part in the free pre-school programme. At the moment some are required to pay commercial rates, which is a huge burden, and some are exempt. We don’t believe commercial rates should be levied on any property where the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) scheme is provided.
“Applying commercial rates on these properties is essentially a tax on educational facilities and should be removed.
“The free pre-school year is designed to support the development and educational achievement of children and we believe this important change in commercial rates would bring a greater level of fairness for the providers of the scheme.
“I am urging the Government to accept our amendment this week. This is a common sense measure that I believe already has broad support among TDs from all parties. I am asking all Deputies to look seriously at this issue and take this opportunity to vote for a fair and reasonable proposal.”