The public must make their voices heard on the local property tax rate which is up for review next month, and tell City Hall that any increase in the current rate will not be tolerated.
This is the view of Sinn Féin city councillor Mairéad Farrell, who is calling on the public to make submissions on “a very important decision that directly affects us all”.
The local property tax rate for Galway city, to be set by the Galway City Council, is up for review in September. The council has the power, if it wishes, to hike the unpopular charge by a maximum of 15 per cent. However councillors are obliged to consider feedback from the public consultation and submissions period, the closing date for which is 5pm on Friday August 19.
"The councillors of the controlling 'pact' in City Hall of Fine Gael, Independents, and Labour have shown they are not in favour of any reduction, so the public consultation gives the community an opportunity to influence the decision and make their voice heard," said Cllr Farrell.
Last year, Sinn Féin councillors on both the city and county councils proposed motions to reduce the tax by a maximum of 15 per cent - also permissible under the legislation. However this move was rejected by a majority of councillors.
"Property tax is a regressive tax that was used by central government to cut vital funding to local authorities," said Cllr Farrell. "It should be abolished. As councillors we have a limited amount of powers to make a difference at local level for the communities we represent and this is one of those important opportunities.
Submissions must be posted to Local Property Tax Submissions, Finance Department, Galway City Council, City Hall, College Road, Galway, or e-mailed to [email protected].