'Sunshine Tax' Mooted For Ireland's Hospitality Sector
A new 'sunshine tax' could hit Ireland's hospitality industry, forcing pubs, cafes and restaurants to pay a tenfold increase in the current charge for outdoor seating and street signage.
If implemented, businesses would have to pay an annual fee of €125 for each table and four chairs, €635 for street signage and an additional €100 for licensing, reports the Irish Independent. However, Cork City Council are exploring the possibility of implementing the tax on a seasonal basis, charging businesses when outdoor seating is actually in use, such as between the months of May and September. Other local authorities in Dublin, Galway, Kilkenny, Waterford and Limerick are considering this approach too.
International tourism guides have pointed to Ireland's 'cafe culture' as a reason for visiting the likes of Dublin, Cork and Galway, while street-side catering has been cited as a reason for the high number of American tourists spending time in other Irish cities and towns.
Tourism Development Directorate official Sharon Corcoran said: "Street furniture is critical. It is critical for small restaurants and it is critical for coffee shops. It is also critical for the tourism industry and we want to encourage people to stay longer [in towns and cities] and shop a little longer."