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Galway gets ‘derisory’ cut of local property tax

Galway householders are massively short-changed on public services – because of an unfair system of redistributing Local Property Tax compared with other rural counties, new research reveals.

An economics lecturer at University of Galway highlights how Galway County Council is the ‘biggest loser’ in the allocation of 2023 Local Property Tax (LPT) equalisation funding from central Government.

Dr Gerard Turley of the university’s J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, and Whitaker Institute, says Galway County Council needs a policy of ‘levelling up’ for its residents to be treated on a par with other rural counties.

Dr Turley’s analysis of the LPT allocations and equalisation or top-up payments to all local authorities by the Department of Housing and Local Government concludes that Galway County Council is the “biggest loser from central government equalisation funding”, and its allocation is “derisory”.

Equalisation is a policy that redirects LPT money to local authorities that do not have a sufficient number of properties to meet their funding needs.

Twenty Councils were eligible for equalisation grants, but Galway County Council is getting the smallest slice of the cake, according to the analysis.

Next year, the total equalisation pot available for redistribution to those 20 Councils is just shy of €118m.

Galway County Council will get €155,561 of it or just 0.1 per cent of the total fund, which Dr Turley labels “derisory”.  That’s €2.6m less than what it got this year and is equivalent to €0.81 cents for every resident within Galway County Council’s boundary.

For comparison, Donegal County Council will get an extra €16.7m or €100.53 per resident; Roscommon County Council will get €6.6m extra, equating to €94.49 per resident; Limerick City and County is in line for a €3.3m boost, worth €16.11 per resident; and Kerry County Council will receive €1.1m or €7.24 per population.

Leitrim residents will enjoy a windfall per population that is 252 times that of Galway County Council’s equalisation funding – 81 cents per person compared with €204.61 for Ireland’s most rural local authority, Leitrim County Council.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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