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Paying Rates for no service

Ask Brian – Legal – I have been paying water and sanitary charges on my business rates to the borough council in Kilkenny since 1950. I have neither. Now the water rates are passed over to the Council and rates are not included this year on my charges – could I demand a rebate for those charges over all those years? Why should I have paid for water and sanitary when I had not same. Thanks. Kilkenny Small Shop.

Charges levied for rates are a constant complaint with business people and I get a regular number of callers to my office asking about it. 

Rates are a tax – they are not a contractual payment.  In other words, you are not entitled to certain levels of service or the deletion of municipal services from your rates bill whether you use them or not. 

There may be something here that you are not telling me but my advice would be that – if you are a member of Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce (if not, you should join for a very small fee) consult their Rates Officer and ask them to represent you in firstly looking into this problem and secondly seeking a refund arising from any exemption they may come up with. 

The issues raised in the answer to this NewsTalk listener's question are dealt with in a general way as can only be the case on live radio. Before relying on the advice given in this answer, whether you heard the broadcast or are for the first time reading the issues here please do not rely on the broad advice given. For a detailed professional opinion please consult a qualified legal advisor and for further details read our disclaimer on the Home Page.

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