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 Local Taxes - Time to Get Real

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PostSubject: Local Taxes - Time to Get Real   Fri May 16, 2008 11:14 pm

Local taxes are a farce. Since Jack Lynch did the dirty and abolished domestic rates in 1978, Local Government has relied on central government handouts. Funding local government from motor tax receipts makes no sense.

Ireland must be the only advanced country not to have a way of raising taxes from the local population for local services. In many countries local government must present costed programmes for the electorate to vote on and so that people can vote on the rate they will pay and what they will get for it.

Local government has been relying on developer contributions to pay for services over the last five years. Now construction is grinding to a halt, that particular conduit is running dry.

Today's Times says that Dublin City Council is to seek a share of income tax, stamp duty and VAT generated in the City as well as a power to levy rates on government buildings, schools, universities and hospitals. The City Council wants to be able to set the tax level and levy its own tax. Government has established a Commission on Taxation to determine the future of local government funding.

The Council also wants central government to pay for waste collection waivers and fire and ambulance services. The Council also wants central government to pay for any services such as water for which it is not allowed to collect charges.

Finally the Council wants to be able to charge a hotel tax.

It strikes me that Dublin City has an enormous rates base compared to other local authorities as there is a concentration of commercial activity that is used by people from all over Ireland and abroad. It is hard to see why Dublin would not be much better placed to pay for services than other counties.

The charges that Dublin wants to raise would all be substantially be raised from people who work, spend, study and go to hospital in the City and who may not live there, but don't expect people who live there to contribute to the services that make life there possible.

IMHO it is time to bring back domestic rates, along with the commercial rate, to fund local government.
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PostSubject: Re: Local Taxes - Time to Get Real   Fri May 16, 2008 11:31 pm

I would be more than happy to pay domestic rates and get better services provided at a local level, but would we see a reduction in any other form of taxation to compensate? We get very little for the money we already pay out so the last thing we want to be doing is paying out more.
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PostSubject: Re: Local Taxes - Time to Get Real   Fri May 16, 2008 11:33 pm

That shouldn't be too difficult to arrange AfricanDave. All the Councils keep audited accounts so we know what we spend and how much of it is locally raised.
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PostSubject: Re: Local Taxes - Time to Get Real   Fri May 16, 2008 11:39 pm

Quote :
It strikes me that Dublin City has an enormous rates base compared to
other local authorities as there is a concentration of commercial
activity that is used by people from all over Ireland and abroad. It is
hard to see why Dublin would not be much better placed to pay for
services than other counties.
Do you mean to have Dublin subsidise counties with smaller populations? Or to have Dublin pay for it's own services and keep other counties reliant on Govt handouts?
Either way it seems obvious that rural counties would have a hard time providing funding for decent services if they were left to raise all their money locally.
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PostSubject: Re: Local Taxes - Time to Get Real   Sat May 17, 2008 12:07 am

Dublin has a disproportionate amount of the country's administrative and commercial activities per inhabitant because it is the capital. A lot of the people who use the services may only do so by phone or a day trip. The service providers will raise their prices/charges to cover the cost of the rates. Why should people from outside Dublin have to pay for the services that residents in Dublin use? If local taxes are raised this way there will be far more raised per capita in Dublin than anywhere else and a good proportion of the money raised will come from outside Dublin.

A domestic rate is fairer because every resident pays in the area they live in, according to the value of the house.

You could compare it with the position of County Councils who may have a much bigger population than the County Town, but the town has all the businesses so it has the business rate income: the County raises much less per person.
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