Walsh slams Kildare County Council over proposed increase
Ted Walsh has described the decision of Kildare County Council to vastly increase rateable valuations for properties in the county for 2018 as "totally ridiculous".
Most trainers in the county will be seriously affected if the increased valuations of their yards takes place and Walsh, who trains in Kill, County Kildare, voiced his concerns at recent developments, which have led to training yards moved from the agriculture sector to the leisure sector for valuation purposes.
Walsh said: "What they are proposing to do is totally ridiculous –completely off-the-wall stuff. Trainers aren't in the leisure business and why the change has been made simply beggars belief.
"I'm just one of many trainers who can't understand what the council has done. It's not a case of hoping something will be done about the situation, it will have to be done or otherwise a lot of trainers will be put out of business."
It is understood the proposed increases include one prominent trainer facing a bill of €33,000 and another being asked to pay €27,000 compared with €2,000.
Walsh added: "I'm being asked to pay €14,700 next year compared with €1,000. It's completely crazy. A council official came here and measured everything – the stables, the horse-walker, the lunger and the sheds and barns. He went off and the end result was that I've been assessed for €14,700.
"Breeders and farmers have not had their valuations increased but trainers, for some reason, have. It's not that most trainers won't pay, they simply aren't in a position to do so. It's a tough game and most yards are operating at well below capacity in terms of horses."
On Friday Michael Grassick, chief executive of the Irish Racehorse Trainers Association, said the IRTA was to seek the help of Horse Racing Ireland in raising the matter with government.