Commercial Rates - Frequently asked questions FAQs

What are Commercial Rates?

Rates are a statutory charge, the income from which is used to part-fund the annual revenue (day-to-day) expenditure of the local authority. Rates originated in the 19th century and are essentially a property tax on commercial premises.

There are currently three primary sources of local government financing which are universal amongst most countries. They are:

  • Central Government; Grants
  • Charges for Goods and Services and;
  • Commercial Rates

Commercial Rates is one of the primary sources of Local Government funding. In Kilkenny’s case it constitutes 15% in respect of County Council income and 45% in respect of the Borough Council.

Why do we pay Rates?

Commercial Rates are the financial contribution business owners and occupiers make to the upkeep and quality of life of the local community.

Income received from rates contributes to a huge range of services such as

  • Public Lighting
  • Street Cleansing
  • Roads and Footpath Upkeep
  • Fire Service
  • Parks and Open Spaces
  • Environmental Protection
  • Water Supply & Sewerage
  • Libraries
  •  Heritage ,Tourism,Public Amenities and the Arts
  • Community Supports and initiatives

Therefore unpaid rates have a serious effect on Kilkenny Local Authorities ability to deliver essential services to the community

 How are rates calculated?

Rates are calculated by multiplying the rateable valuation of a property, by the Annual Rate of Valuation
The Rateable Valuation of a commercial property is the value of the property determined independently by the Commissioner of Valuation,
It’s not determined by Kilkenny County or Borough Councils.
The Annual Rate of Valuation is the figure determined by the elected members for the Council at the Annual Budget meeting each year based on the deficit between Council income and council expenditure for the forthcoming year.
For example
Valuation of property: €100.00
Kilkenny County Council’s Annual Rate on Valuation : €52.31
Rates payable: €5,231.00 (or €100 x €52.31)

This information is provided on your rate bill (Commercial Rate Demand).

How do rates in Kilkenny compare to other Local Authorities?

Kilkenny County Council’s average rate of Valuation is the lowest in the Country and is significantly lower than that charged by most other Local Authorities i.e. 21% lower than the national average.

Kilkenny Borough Council’s average rate of Valuation is the lowest of any City and is 10% lower than the national average for cities. It is also one of the lowest amongst all urban rating authorities in the Country.

Rates for both the County and Borough have remained frozen at 2008 levels for the past 4 years.

When are Commercial Rates due?

Rates are due in 2 moieties/halves each year. The first moiety is due upon receipt of the first demand sent in February and the second moiety is due on the 1st July 2011.

However, its important to note that to facilitate our rate payers, payments can be made by way of monthly instalments over the year.

What payment options are available?

Kilkenny County and Borough Councils offer our Ratepayers the following payment methods:

  • Direct Debit- A Direct Debit form is enclosed with each Demand issued.
  • Cheques/Drafts/Postal Orders can be made payable to the Rates Office, County Hall, John Street Kilkenny
  • Rate Payments can also be made by way of Standing Order.

Forms mandating a Direct Debit or Standing Order can be obtained by accessing the “Pay Online” section on the websites and and downloading the relevant form. Alternatively, contact the Rates Office to have one forwarded.
If you have any queries in relation to your rates or wish to discuss your account, you can contact the Rates Office at County Hall, John Street, Kilkenny. Telephone 056-7794210

Are there any instances when I might be due a refund of Rates?

In the event of your property being vacant, partially vacant or becoming vacant, you should notify the Rates Office. Details regarding the documentation required to verify the vacancy period are attached to the rate Demand
In cases where the property is vacant at the making of the rate, the liability lies with the person entitled to occupy the property at the making of the rate (i.e. the owner or leaseholder). Rates are payable in the usual manner, however, a refund or strike off may be considered if a property is vacant or partially vacant at the making of the rate, due
• The bonafide inability of the landlord to obtain a suitable tenant at a
reasonable rent
• The execution of repairs or alterations (i.e. under renovation)

Any claim for a refund or strike off will require the submission of an official Refund/Declaration Form together with supporting evidence confirming the fulfilment of either of the above conditions. A refund of rates paid can be claimed for every completed calendar month during which the premises were vacant subject to the relevant conditions.

What happens if I don’t pay my rates?

Kilkenny County and Borough Councils are obliged by law to levy and collect Commercial Rates. Unpaid rates have a serious effect on our ability to deliver essential services. Legal enforcement will be pursued where necessary.

However, we are very much aware of the difficulties facing businesses and in every way try to encourage and support industry and commerce. We would urge any business that may have queries regarding their account to contact us at 056-7794210 to discuss payment options

I am thinking of purchasing/leasing an existing commercial property. What do I need to check with the Rates Section of Kilkenny Co. Council?

It is advisable to check that there are no outstanding rates due, as the new owner/occupier may be liable for outstanding rates due by the previous owner/occupier

 What are my options if I am dissatisfied with the Valuation placed on my property by the Commissioner of Valuation?

The owner/occupier can appeal their current valuation to the Valuation Office. The Valuation Office can be contacted at the following address: Valuation Office Ireland, Block 2., Irish Life Centre, Abbey Street Lower, Dublin 2 – Telephone 01 81 71 08 7 or at

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Emergency Outside Office Hours

If you require the service of the Local Authority for an emergency outside of normal business hours please note the following:

Persons requiring the Fire Service for an emergency should Dial 112 and no other number

For all water related queries 1850 278 278 (Irish Water)

For any other emergency the public are advised to ring 1890 252654

Kilkenny County Council, County Hall, John Street, Kilkenny R95 A39T
Tel: +353 (0) 56 7794000 | Fax: +353 (0) 56 7794004
Email: | Emergency outside office hours: 1890 252 654
Water Queries: 1850 278 278 (Irish Water)
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