I welcome the intervention by the Government regarding the shortfall in County Council funding which arose over the re-evaluation of rates.
Paudie Coffey, Minister of State at the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government has confirmed to me that funding of €573,554 has been allocated to Galway County Council to assist with the drop in revenue from rates.
The fall in Council income from rates arose due to the re-evaluation of rates by the Valuation Office on properties used by utility companies across a number of counties including Galway.
I welcome this timely intervention the Government and the allocation of over €573,000 to Galway County Council to help offset the loss of income from rates.
The issue has been one of great concern to councillors, with several, including Cllr Eilleen Mannion, Cllr Peter Feeney and Cllr Joe Byrne, contacting me on the matter. On foot of the concerns, I contacted the relevant ministers, including Minister Coffey and Minister Simon Harris of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, the home department for the Valuation Office, to let them know of the serious challenge the loss of income would pose to the activities of the County Council.
Mindful of the Budget deficit, which despite the improving and encouraging economic figures, remains, I urged the Ministers to address the shortfall from Government funding.
I’m pleased that the Government has now agreed to provide Galway County Council with €573,000 in funding. Mr Kevin Kelly, the Chief Executive of the County Council, has been informed in writing of the allocation which will be used for areas like road maintenance that benefit residents across the County.