SFA Senior Executive, Elizabeth Bowen and Geraldine Magnier, Co-Founder and Director of Idiro Analytics and SFA National Council member, met with Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, John Paul Phelan T.D., on Tuesday, 10 September, to discuss the Local Government Rates and Other Matters Act 2019. They also discussed SFA concerns regarding REVAL 2019, the national revaluation programme and the need for increased resources for both the Valuation Tribunal and Valuation’s Office. The SFA delegation received a very strong response to these issues.
In preparation for this meeting members kindly supplied information about their own experience with the national revaluation process and we would like to take this opportunity to thank members for their contributions.
In 2019, business contributions will directly account for €1.55 billion or 34% of the total local government budget. This represents a 14% increase in the total value of commercial rates collected since 2010. Commercial rates are a form of local taxation, mostly to fund services that businesses do not consume. Local authorities use business to balance their books. In other words, business picks up the tab for any expenditure gaps or funding shortfalls that arise in their annual budgets. Reductions in central government contributions and other revenue sources have resulted in local authorities becoming ever more reliant on local business for their revenue.
The SFA welcomes the reforms introduced in the Local Government Rates and Other Matters Act 2019, however, we believe more can be done to achieve a more fair and balanced approach to local government funding. The SFA will continue to work on behalf of members on this issue.