The local property tax rate set by the Galway City Council for those living within the city boundaries will be up for review in September and Cllr Mairéad Farrell is encouraging Galwegians to have their say on what she says is “a very important decision that directly affects us all”.
Speaking this week Cllr Farrell said: “In September of this year as city councillors we will have the power to make an adjustment to the property tax that has been charged to people for the past three years. All local authorities have the ability to vary the basic rate of this family home tax within its own area by a maximum of 15 per cent
“Last year, our Sinn Féin teams on Galway city and county councils proposed motions to reduce the tax by a maximum of 15 per cent; these were rejected by a majority of elected councillors.
“In coming to a decision each year on whether or not to vary the rate, councillors are obliged to consider feedback from the public consultation and so I would encourage anyone who feels that this tax is fundamentally unfair or sees that it has not resulted in an increase in provision of services at local level to call for the maximum reduction of 15 per cent.”
The Sinn Féin councillor described the property tax as a “regressive tax” that was used by central government to cut vital funding to local authorities and believes 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. The councillors of the controlling pact in City Hall of Fine Gael, Independents, and Labour have shown that 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.”
The closing date for submissions is 5pm on Friday August 19 and submissions must be either posted to; Local Property Tax Submissions, Finance Department, Galway City Council, City Hall, College Road, Galway City or emailed to [email protected].