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Revised Funding From Local Property Tax A Lousy Deal For Wicklow -  Whitmore

Wicklow TD Jennifer Whitmore has criticised the revised allocation of funding for local property tax.

Deputy Whitmore has called for the methodology used to find the new calculation to be published immediately and asked the Minister to clarify if the census data was used in the assessment.

Deputy Whitmore said:

"The Minister for Housing, Local Government, and Heritage has announced a €75.4m increase in LPT baseline funding to local authorities following a review of how the money is allocated. The baseline is the minimum amount of funding each council area will receive from the property tax, supplemented by exchequer funds in cases where a local authority's LPT income is lower than its baseline.

"However, there appear to be glaring disparities between the amounts of funding allocated to various local authorities.

"Wicklow, despite experiencing a population growth of nine per cent, has received a baseline funding allocation of just over €11 million for 2024. By comparison, Mayo, where population rose by five per cent in the same period, will get more than €21 million. This is not acceptable, in my opinion.

"It is also worth noting that Wicklow has a higher population than Mayo, which means there is increased demand for the vital services provided by our local authority.

"A working group established by the Minister earlier this year recommended that baseline funding should be distributed in line with population, area, deprivation levels, a local authority's income-raising capacity and national policy priorities.

"From the increases in baseline funding announced this week, I can see no evidence that population growth has been factored into the revised allocations.

 "The Minister must immediately publish the methodology used by the working group as part of their review. He also needs to clarify if census population data was used in their assessment and, if so, the year it was derived from.

"The allocation of funding from LPT is an essential source of revenue for Wicklow County Council. It is vital that the county gets its fair share and that there is full transparency in how baseline funding for each local authority is calculated. Government TDs must explain how Wicklow is, yet again, treated so unfairly when it comes to funding."



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