A decision on the Local Property Tax rate for the county has been deferred until next Monday due to concerns about a shortfall in Galway County Council’s budget. At this week’s local authority meeting it was agreed that a special meeting will be held next week to discuss the matter.
In the meantime, councillors are to seek meetings with local Government Minister Simon Coveney, Galway West TD and Gaeltacht Minister Sean Kyne, and Galway East Deputy and OPW Minister Sean Canney to outline their frustration about funding issues.
They want to discuss the budget of the local authority, which councillors consider inadequate to meet even the basic needs of the county – having been slashed by 50 percent over the past nine years. The budget for 2017 currently stands at €106 million. This figure is a whopping €54 million less than Galway County Council had to work with in 2008.
A suggested deficit of €1.8 million has been highlighted by management for the county’s 2017 Budget. Fianna Fáil representative Mary Hoade said the reason for seeking a special meeting was that clarification was needed as to whether extra funding would be made available to make up the shortfall in funding. Party colleague and county Cathaoirleach Michael Connolly said the objective must be to try to get more funding for local government. “I think it is universally acknowledged that local authorities are underfunded.” Meanwhile, Oranmore-Athenry local area councillor Jim Cuddy said questions have to be answered about where this year’s property tax payments went.
The special meeting to discuss the Local Property Tax rate for the county will take place at County Hall on Monday at 11am.