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The years since the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent economic crash have witnessed significant changes to the funding of the local government system in Ireland. This paper outlines these developments, while, at the same time, exploring some of the most important future challenges relating to the financing of Irish local authorities. The dominant local government revenue issues of the last decade outlined here are fiscal autonomy and the balance between own-source income and central government grants, income differences between urban and rural councils, the Local Property Tax, changes in commercial rates and fiscal equalisation. In terms of fiscal dependency and equalisation, our findings show reductions in the vertical and horizontal fiscal imbalances in the Irish local government system. Likely future challenges include the need to re-examine the balance between business taxes and non-business taxes, funding the expected growth in metropolitan areas and the financing options for capital investment by local authorities, including consideration of municipal bond issuance for the Greater Dublin Area.

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Braütigam, Odd-Helge Fjeldstad and Mick Moore eds. Taxation and state building in developing countries. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hayden, R.M. 2005. Democracy without demos?. The Bosnian constitutional experiment and the intentional Construction of non-functional states. East European Politics and Societies 19 (2):226-59 Jin, J. and Zou, H. 2002. How Does Fiscal Decentralization Affect Aggregate, National, and Subnational Government Size. Journal of Urban Economics 52 (2): 270-293. Kalb, A. 2010. The impact of intergovernmental grants on cost efficiency

over their financial flow, and all incoming resources are at their disposal. On the contrary, as mere parts of larger local units, they are limited in their powers, and they have to negotiate with other parts of town when local financial matters are being discussed. One such important financial channel is intergovernmental grants. Although they differ in their nature, they are a valuable source, especially in the case of infrastructure projects that the municipalities are not able to fund alone. Hence, independence might work as a way for new municipalities to secure

& sechash=cc02d0ed (letzter Zugriff am 14.06.2013). Hesse J. J. 2010b Gutachterliche Stellungnahme zur Kommunal- und Verwaltungsreform in Rheinland-Pfalz. Untersuchung im Auftrag des Ministeriums des Innern und für Sport des Landes Rheinland-Pfalz Online unter & did=30826 & sechash=cc02d0ed (letzter Zugriff am 14.06.2013) Kalb, A. (2010a): The Impact of Intergovernmental Grants on Cost Efficiency: Theory and Evidence from German municipalities. In: Economic