Local authorities derive their income from a variety of sources, predominantly commercial rates, charges for goods and services, such as housing rents, funding from Central Government and local property tax (LPT). Central Government funding, both current and capital, emanates from a range of Government Departments and Offices.
There is a local discretionary element to some locally levied sources of income such as LPT, commercial rates and housing rents and it is a matter for Meath County Council to ensure it maximises local income sources and manages its expenditure, to deliver optimum services while delivering value for money for local businesses and citizens.
Comparing local authority income levels, in absolute terms, is a complex task, given the range and variety of local authorities, in terms of, size and population and the associated demands for local public services.
In relation to LPT, I established a Review Group to examine Baseline Funding of local authorities and in particular the methodology used to determine local authority funding baselines and the distribution of any additional available funding for general, non-infrastructure (operational) purposes. All submissions received as part of the consultation process, including that of Meath County Council, were considered by my Department in that context.
I am considering the recommendations of the Baseline Review Group, having regard to the ongoing consideration of LPT and the Report on the Review of Local Property Tax by the Oireachtas Budgetary Oversight Committee.