The Galway city and county councils will be €1,116,323 out of pocket due to a national agreement on rates recalculation which sees rates payments made nationally, and not to the local authorities.
The recalculation was made last year by the Government for companies with a presence in multiple counties in the State, such as Gas Networks Ireland, Eircom, Vodafone, and Iarnród Éireann, under what was called a Global Valuation of rates.
According to figures released to Sinn Féin, the recalculation means the county council will be out of pocket by €796,831 and the city council will be short €369,492. While local authorities were partly compensated by the Government for the loss of rates revenue, by up to 72 per cent of what they had previously received, Minister for Local Government, Simon Coveney, has stated there will be no such compensation for councils in 2017.
Sinn Féin senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh attended a briefing for Oireachtas members in Galway County Council this week, and heard the council needs at least another €2 million in its budget “just to stay still”.
“They are not in a position to employ much needed staff or provide any extra services and say they may have to increase the rate of property tax people are charged as a result,” said Sen Ó Clochartaigh. It is outrageous that the Minister is taking even more money away from them, resulting in increased taxes for citizens while profitable companies pay less and less.”