Many Dublin businesses are failing to pay a compulsory levy for local improvements, according to latest figures.

The Business Improvement District (BID) levy amounting to 5% of a business' rateable valuation is payable to the Dublin Town organisation which in return carries out work such as marketing and street cleaning.

However, of the 3,019 businesses issued with a BID levy in 2020 only 31% paid in full.

Over €3 million was billed but just over €1.5 million was collected.

Up to September 2021, only €1,100,000 - or 36% - was paid.

The BID levies have to be paid on top of the council rates bill. However, the Government did not provide any rebates for the levies during the pandemic.

The Business Improvement District idea originated in Canada in the 1970s and is intended to provide extra services to city centre areas through promotions and public realm improvements.

Dublin Town carries out graffiti removal and used needle collection as well as general cleaning.

The BID was set up in 2007 by the ballot of businesses in the area which covers 115 streets in central business district from St Stephen's Green to Parnell Square.

The BID levy becomes mandatory once a majority of businesses vote in favour and individual companies cannot opt out of the scheme.

A plebiscite on the levy is required every five years and another vote is due later this year.

A total of 68% of businesses voted in favour of the levy in 2012 but this dropped to 54% in 2017.