Spokesperson on Environment and Local Government Barry Cowen has said: “I am proposing a change in the law which covers the valuation of property because at the moment sports clubs around the country are being charged commercial rates on dressing rooms and sports halls as well as their bar.
“Under the ‘Valuation Bill 2014’ clubs will only be liable to be charged rates on the part of their property which is licensed to sell alcohol. This will free up extra money for cash strapped clubs to invest in their facilities. There has been a major reduction in sporting grants in recent years and I think implementing this change in the law would be a shot in the arm a lot of clubs need.
“Commercial rates can be a huge burden for many clubs and I think now is the time to redefine how those rates are applied. I think people can understand why clubs would be expected to pay rates on a licensed premises but those rates should not be applied to dressing rooms or a sports hall, it should be limited to the bar itself. There has been significant investment in sports halls and clubs over many years but those clubs shouldn’t be punished for having a new hall or new dressing rooms.
“If the Government accepts this legislation it would allow sports clubs around the country to make an application to the Commissioner of Valuation seeking a ‘revision’ of their commercial rates paid to their local authority. This would be a huge boost for clubs and allow them to reinvest the money saved in facilities for their community.”