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Commercial Rates


Rates – Some General Information


Want to Pay less rates in 2016 - The Small Business Grant Scheme is continuing!

The Scheme gives a grant of up to 5% of the annual rates demand (excluding arrears), subject to a maximum annual grant of €250 and subject to certain terms and conditions being met.   The grant is applied as a credit at the end of the year.  To qualify for the Small Business Grant Scheme, the following terms and conditions apply:

  • The grant is applied to the current year’s rates only (not applicable to any arrears).
  • Rates must be paid in full by the deadline of the 31st October 2016 – this includes customers paying by monthly direct debits and standing orders.
  • There must be no arrears on the account by the deadline date.
  • The grant is applied to the rate account at the end of the financial year


What are Commercial Rates?

Commercial rates are a property tax on commercial properties. Rates are payable on commercial properties which have been valued by the Commissioner of Valuations – this is referred to as the Valuation Office and they are based in Dublin.  A rate demand is issued to all rate payers at the beginning of each year.


If your property gets valued during the year, you may receive a Property Entry Levy (PEL) demand instead of a rates demand.  In the following year, you will receive your rates demand.  


Donegal County Council spending in 2016

The Council will spend €132.8m in 2016 on public services in the County and 24% of this €132.8m spend will be funded from commercial rates.  Therefore, your contribution to helping provide and maintain the services in our County is so very important and we appreciate your early payments. The Council’s Revenue Budget Book 2016 contains details of our planned works for the year.


What is the ‘Annual Rate on Valuation’?

At our annual budget meeting on the 18th November 2015, our Elected Members determined the ‘Annual Rate on Valuation’.


The Annual Rate on Valuation for Donegal County Council (including the former Town Council rating areas) which was adopted at the annual Budget meeting on the 18th November 2015 (for the year 2016) is €68.39.  Donegal County Council and the former Town Councils had different  “annual rate on valuation”.  These “annual rates on valuation” have now to be harmonised over time and the harmonised rate is €68.39.  As a result, an annual Base Year Adjustment must be applied to rate accounts.

The Base Year Adjustment (BYA) in Column 2 of the table below shall be applied as either a discount or levy (as the case may be) to rate demand(s) to be issued to ratepayers in the specified area identified in Column 1 of the table below:-


Base Year Adjustment (BYA)  
Former Donegal County Council Rating Area          +0.79 
Former Letterkenny Town Council Rating Area      -2.38
Former Buncrana Town Council Rating Area  -22.10
Former Bundoran Town Council Rating Area    -6.55


How is my Commercial Rates bill calculated?

Your rates are calculated by multiplying the annual rate on valuation by what is known as the rateable valuation on your property.  The rateable valuation of your property is determined by the Valuation Office and this information is provided on your rate bill.  Your rates can be calculated by reference to this simple example:


Valuation of property:                              €100.00

Annual Rate on Valuation (2016):            €68.39

Rates payable:                                        €6,839.00 (or €100 x €68.39)


Who has to pay Commercial Rates?

The person who is in occupation of the property at the day of the ‘Making of the Rate’ must pay rates.  If the property is not occupied, the rate demand will be sent to the owner.  The date of the ‘Making of the Rate’ for 2016 was the 4th January 2016.





New duty on owners/ratepayers in relation to a transfer of property Section 32 of the Local Government Reform Act, 2014


A property owner, or their agent, must let Donegal County Council know where an interest in a rateable property is transferred or sold.


The person transferring the property, either the owner or occupier, must pay all rates that are due at the time of the transfer/sale.


If a property is not occupied and available for lease or rent, you must send the Council photographs of the property (internal and external) as evidence that the property is unoccupied and vacant.   Evidence that the property is available for lease must be provided in the form of an advert in a newspaper, a letter from an estate agent or a photograph of the property showing a for lease/rent sign on the property. 


If you fail to notify Donegal County Council of a change in interest within 14 days of the transfer date, this may result in a penalty for non-compliance in that, the owner becomes liable for an amount which is equivalent to the level of outstanding rates (up to a maximum of 2 years liability)

This obligation came into effect on 1st July, 2014


What happens if I don’t pay my rates?

By law, Donegal County Council has to collect Commercial Rates.  If you do not pay your rates, the Council will have no option but to refer your account for legal action.    If you are due a payment from Donegal County Council, the Council can set off the monies due to you against any rates due for payment – Section 58 of the Local Government Act 1941. 


Are rates payable on properties that are not occupied or closed for repairs?

If a property is not occupied an application should be made to the Council, in the form of a cover letter and the information below should be sent asking for the rates to be written off at the end of the year.   An on-site inspection may be required to verify the application received.  If your property becomes vacant any time during the year, you could advertise the property for lease/rent if you wish to make an application for the rates to be written off at the end of the year.


Property Vacant and for Lease or Rent

  • Letter from an estate agent confirming the period that the property was advertised for rent or lease; or
  • Copy of advert from newspaper showing that the property was being advertised for lease/rent; or
  • Page from estate agent’s website containing the details of the property for letting/renting; or
  • Photographs that show the property is vacant (photographs of the interior) and photographs to show that a notice has been placed on the exterior of the property advertising the premises as available for lease/rent.


Property closed for Repairs

A letter from an Architect setting out what works are to be carried out and the estimate completion date (this letter should be sent to the Council before the works commence).  You will also need to let the Council know when the works have been completed.


What can I do if I am unhappy with the valuation placed on my property or if my property has reverted to domestic or agricultural use?

The valuation of a property is determined by the:


Commissioner of Valuations

Valuation Office

Irish Life Centre

Abbey Street Lower

Dublin 1


It is only the Valuation Office who can amend the valuation on a property.  A revision of the valuation on a property can only be sought in the event of a material change having taken place since the last valuation.  This can be as a result of renovation/extension works or whenever the property has reverted to domestic or agricultural use. Further details are available online at


How can I pay my rates?

  • Direct Debit or Standing Order (monthly instalments to spread the payments over a number of months.  A direct debit form is included with your rate demand if you are not already paying by direct debit)
  • Electronic Fund Transfer
  • Credit or Debit card
  • By Set Off (Under Section 58 of the Local Government Act 1941)
  • In person at the Public Service Centres and our Buncrana office (Monday – Thursday from 9am – 12.30pm & 1pm to 4.30 pm)and (Friday from 9am to 12. 30pm & 1pm to 4.00pm)


Our bank account details

IBAN No.  IE48 ULSB 9860 1015 990110

BIC No.     ULSB IE 2D

Please quote your account number when making payment by Electronic Fund Transfer



Contact Details for our Staff


Toghcheantar Dhún na nGall / Donegal Municipal District                                   

(074) 9724405


Public Services Centre, Drumlonagher, Donegal Town

Sharleen Tinney  (087) 0574901

Kathleen Gallagher (074) 9724436


Toghcheantar na nGleanntach / Glenties Municipal District                                  

(074) 9561364

Public Services Centre, Gweedore Rd., Dungloe

James Gallagher (087) 7958777


Toghcheantar Leitir Ceanainn/ Letterkenny Municipal District                   

(074) 9194253  

Public Services Centre, Neil T. Blaney Rd., L’kenny

Declan Gallagher (087) 6906695                          


Toghcheantar Shrath an Urláir / Stranorlar Municipal District                    

(074) 9172513  

County House, Lifford – Catherine Coyle (087) 0574682


Toghcheantar Inis Eoghain / Inishowen Municipal District                                    

(074) 9373775                        

Public Services Centre, Malin Road, Carndonagh 

Paula McCann (087) 0574596


Áras an Chontae / Headquarters                                                              

County House, Lifford / Rates Office (074) 9153900




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