Local government funding in Ireland: Contemporary issues and future challenges

Open access

Abstract

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.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Bird R. M. (2001). Intergovernmental fiscal relations in Latin America: Policy design and policy outcomes. Washington D.C.: Sustainable development department Inter-American Development Bank.

  • Boadway R. & Shah A. (Eds) (2007). Intergovernmental fiscal transfers: Principles and practice [Public sector governance and accountability series]. Washington D.C.: The World Bank.

  • Commission on Taxation. (2009). Commission on Taxation report 2009. Dublin: The Stationery Office.

  • Considine J. & Reidy T. (2015). Baby steps: The expanding financial base of local government in Ireland. Administration 63 (2) 119–45.

  • Department of Housing Planning and Local Government. (2017). Local authority budgets 2017. Dublin: Department of Housing Planning and Local Government.

  • Freire M. E. & Garzón H. (2014). Managing local revenues. In C. Farvacque-Vitkovic & M. Kopanyi (Eds) Municipal finances: A handbook for local governments (pp. 147–214). Washington D.C.: The World Bank.

  • Government of Ireland. (2001). Local Government Act 2001. Dublin: Government Publications Office.

  • Government of Ireland. (2014). Local government reform act 2014. Dublin: Government Publications Office.

  • Government of Ireland. (2018). Project Ireland 2040. National planning framework. Dublin: Government Publications Office.

  • Musgrave R. A. (1959). The theory of public finance. New York: McGraw-Hill.

  • Oates W. E. (1972). Fiscal federalism. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

  • OECD. (2013). Fiscal federalism 2014: Making decentralisation work. Paris: OECD Publishing.

  • OECD. (2018). Subnational governments in OECD countries: Key data 2018 edition. Paris: OECD Publishing.

  • O’Leary J. (2018). How (not) to do public policy: Water charges and local property tax. Galway: Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Structural Change NUI Galway.

  • Revenue. (2019). Local property tax (LPT) statistics 2018. Dublin: Office of the Revenue Commissioners.

  • Robbins G. Turley G. & McNena S. (2014). From boom to bust? The financial performance of city and county councils. Administration 62 (1) 119–51.

  • Samuelson P. (1954). The pure theory of public expenditure. The Review of Economics and Statistics 36 (4) 387–89.

  • Schwab C. Bouckaert G. & Kuhlmann S. (Eds) (2017). The future of local government in Europe. Lessons from research and practice in 31 countries. Baden-Baden: Nomos.

  • Tiebout C. M. (1956). A pure theory of local expenditures. Journal of Political Economy 64 (5) 416–24.

  • Turley G. Flannery D. & McNena S. (2015). A needs and resources assessment of fiscal equalisation in the Irish local government system. The Economic and Social Review 46 (3) 459–84.

  • Turley G. & McNena S. (2016). An analysis of local public finances and the 2014 local government reforms. The Economic and Social Review 47 (2) 299–326.

  • Turley G. & McNena S. (2018). Financing local government in the twenty-first century: Local government revenues in European Union member states 2000–2014. In R. Kerley J. Liddle & P. T. Dunning (Eds) Routledge handbook of international local government (pp. 496–517). London: Routledge.

  • Turley G. McNena S. & Robbins G. (2018). Austerity and Irish local government expenditure since the Great Recession. Administration 66 (4) 1–24.

Search
Journal information
Metrics
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 63 63 63
PDF Downloads 86 85 85