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Fine Gael TD for Cork East, David Stanton has welcomed the commitment by Minister of State at the Department of Finance, Simon Harris TD, to ease the rates burden on many local sports clubs. Minister Harris intends to make a change to the Valuation (Amendment)(No.2) Bill 2012 which will mean sports clubs will only pay rates on the parts of their premises which generates income.

“The planned amendment to the Valuation (Amendment)(No.2) Bill 2012 will mean sports clubs that previously paid rates on bar and sporting buildings, will now only pay rates for the part of the building that generates income i.e. the bar in most cases. In practical terms this should significantly reduce the size of the building for which sports clubs will pay rates. This will provide a welcome boost for local clubs most of which are run by volunteers for members.

“Local sports clubs are the backbone of our community, these clubs are run by people giving freely of their time and many are largely financed from fundraising in the local community. The change announced by Minister Harris, and which Fine Gael has been advocating for many years, will be a great boost to local sports clubs”, said Deputy Stanton.

“Buildings that are used for the sale of alcohol, food or goods will be rated but buildings that are used for community sport will be exempt. If a sports club’s only commercial facility is the bar then it is only the bar and ancillary facilities that will be rated.

“The Government is committed to improving sports and leisure facilities and services across the country. This amendment is an example of practical legislation that shows our commitment to supporting local communities and which will make a real difference to sports clubs and their members.