25 September 2014

Fitzgerald hails rates exemption for Sports Clubs

Local TD Frances Fitzgerald, Minister for Justice & Equality, has hailed the Government’s decision to exempt sports facilities from commercial rates as “the right decision, which recognises the vital role sports clubs play in our local communities for people of all ages.

The Government this week approved an amendment to the Valuation (Amendment ) (No.2) Bill 2012, which would exempt from valuation and rates those parts of a club’s premises used for sport but not buildings or part of buildings used for the sale of alcohol or the generation of income other than club membership fees.

Minister Fitzgerald said:

“Under the existing system many sports clubs are being charged commercial rates for dressing rooms, gyms and sports halls as well as facilities which generate income. i.e. clubhouse bars.  This has meant that many sports clubs - most of which are led and managed by volunteers - which have a bar on their premises pay rates on the entire buildings, not just the income-generating sections. 

“In my capacity as a local TD I am keenly aware of the wonderful impact clubs and other sporting organisations have on the lives of local people, not least from the perspective of physical, mental and social wellbeing.

“I am therefore very pleased that this proposal will allow sports clubs which previously paid rates on its bar and sporting buildings combined, to only pay rates for the part of the building that generates income – in most cases, this will mean the bar only. 

“I believe this is a forward-thinking, proactive piece of legislation which will have a significant positive dividend for clubs in our area.”