1. bookVolume 67 (2019): Issue 4 (December 2019)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2449-9471
First Published
15 Apr 2015
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

Local government funding in Ireland: Contemporary issues and future challenges

Published Online: 31 Dec 2019
Volume & Issue: Volume 67 (2019) - Issue 4 (December 2019)
Page range: 1 - 26
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2449-9471
First Published
15 Apr 2015
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English
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.

Keywords

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.Search in Google Scholar

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

Commission on Taxation. (2009). Commission on Taxation report 2009. Dublin: The Stationery Office.Search in Google Scholar

Considine, J., & Reidy, T. (2015). Baby steps: The expanding financial base of local government in Ireland. Administration, 63 (2), 119–45.10.1515/admin-2015-0013Search in Google Scholar

Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. (2017). Local authority budgets 2017. Dublin: Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.Search in Google Scholar

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.Search in Google Scholar

Government of Ireland. (2001). Local Government Act 2001. Dublin: Government Publications Office.Search in Google Scholar

Government of Ireland. (2014). Local government reform act 2014. Dublin: Government Publications Office.Search in Google Scholar

Government of Ireland. (2018). Project Ireland 2040. National planning framework. Dublin: Government Publications Office.Search in Google Scholar

Musgrave, R. A. (1959). The theory of public finance. New York: McGraw-Hill.Search in Google Scholar

Oates, W. E. (1972). Fiscal federalism. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.Search in Google Scholar

OECD. (2013). Fiscal federalism 2014: Making decentralisation work. Paris: OECD Publishing.10.1787/9789264204577-enSearch in Google Scholar

OECD. (2018). Subnational governments in OECD countries: Key data 2018 edition. Paris: OECD Publishing.Search in Google Scholar

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.Search in Google Scholar

Revenue. (2019). Local property tax (LPT) statistics 2018. Dublin: Office of the Revenue Commissioners.Search in Google Scholar

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

Samuelson, P. (1954). The pure theory of public expenditure. The Review of Economics and Statistics, 36 (4), 387–89.10.2307/1925895Search in Google Scholar

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.Search in Google Scholar

Tiebout, C. M. (1956). A pure theory of local expenditures. Journal of Political Economy, 64 (5), 416–24.10.1086/257839Search in Google Scholar

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.Search in Google Scholar

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.Search in Google Scholar

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.Search in Google Scholar

Turley, G., McNena, S., & Robbins, G. (2018). Austerity and Irish local government expenditure since the Great Recession. Administration, 66 (4), 1–24.10.2478/admin-2018-0030Search in Google Scholar

Recommended articles from Trend MD

Plan your remote conference with Sciendo