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Tuesday 21 November 2017

'We won't foot BID scheme bill' - council

Owen Keegan
Owen Keegan

Dublin City Council chief executive Owen Keegan has insisted the local authority will not be footing the bill if the capital's businesses decide to vote against paying for a business improvement scheme.

The Business Improvement District (BID) scheme is up for vote again this year, with hundreds of businesses against its renewal as they believe the payment overlaps the taxation they already pay to the council.

Promotion

The opposing group says €65m is already paid each year to the council to maintain the city, while Failte Ireland works on its promotion - two of the roles also played by the BID company.

It says the BID committee, operated by DublinTown, has provided "zero benefit" and has asked to hold a public debate on the issue before the vote next week.

However, it is not clear if this offer will be taken up by DublinTown, with the proposed date of next Wednesday at City Hall.

Around €3.3m is raised by the levy each year.

DublinTown was set up in 2008, with businesses charged a levy of 5pc of their commercial rates each year. Its task is to improve Dublin as a commercial district.

"If the mandate of the BID company is not renewed, I have made it clear the city council will not be providing funding to cover the activities currently carried out by the company," said Mr Keegan in an email to a business owner.

"The BID company area can expect to receive the same level of council services as other areas in the city centre, including limited graffiti removal."

DublinTown chief Richard Guiney said: "We haven't rec-eived a formal invite to a debate. If we receive a formal invite we will consider it."

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