Galway heads of households suffer from severe shortages of public services, due to an unfair system of redistribution of local property tax compared to other rural counties, new research reveals.
A University of Galway economics professor highlights how Galway County Council is the “biggest loser” in the central government’s 2023 Local Property Tax (LPT) offset fund allocation.
Dr Gerard Turley of the university’s JE Cairnes School of Business and Economics and the Whitaker Institute says Galway County Council needs a ‘leveling’ policy so that its residents are treated on a par with other rural counties .
Dr Turley’s analysis of LPT allocations and compensation or supplement payments to all local authorities by the Department of Housing and Local Government concludes that Galway County Council is the “biggest loser of compensation funding of the central government”, and its allocation is “derisory”. .
Equalization is a policy that redirects LPT money to local authorities that do not have a sufficient number of properties to meet their financing needs.
Twenty councils were eligible for equalization grants, but according to the analysis, Galway County Council gets the smallest slice of the pie.
Next year, the total compensation pot available to redistribute to those 20 Councils is just under €118 million.
Galway County Council will get €155,561 or just 0.1 per cent of the total fund, which Dr Turley calls “paltry”. That’s €2.6m less than what was raised this year and equals €0.81 for every resident within Galway County Council boundaries.
By way of comparison, Donegal County Council will get an additional €16.7m or €100.53 per resident; Roscommon County Council will get an additional €6.6 million, equivalent to €94.49 per resident; Limerick City and County is in line for a €3.3 million increase, worth €16.11 per resident; and Kerry County Council will receive €1.1 million or €7.24 per town.
Leitrim residents will enjoy a windfall per population that is 252 times greater than Galway County Council compensation funding – 81 pence per person compared to €204.61 for Ireland’s most rural local authority, the Leitrim County Council.
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