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Aran Islands Consider Tax Free Status

Want to Live Tax Free? Then I've Got an Island to Sell You. . .

The craggy and wind-swept Aran Islands, found 10 miles off of the west coast of Ireland, could soon join the Cayman Islands as a shining, tax-free haven. With a declining population, a higher cost of living, and a remoteness from lifestyle treats like movie theaters, a proposal to go tax free could encourage folks to come back.

One local thinks it's a lucky charm of an idea: "There are a lot of disadvantages because of distances and cost of living and travel — but this tax plan could be the reason for people to return here. And, for any island, even to get one family [back] home — it makes a huge difference."

Extra dough to spend could mean the survival of local culture and heritage, like this Aran Islands' family, seen here in 1969. The proposal being considered in Dublin would let Aran Islands residents earn up to $158,000, tax free, and give tax breaks to businesses — the deal could be a boon to the islands' 3,000 residents.

While a break from taxes sounds like finding a pot of gold, of course, there's a catch. To see what,

.

One local with the coolest name ever, Padraigin Clancy, says:

I feel very strongly that the people of the Aran Islands, the same as every other member of the Republic of Ireland, should pay their taxes. We benefit from all kinds of grants from Dublin and from Europe and I don't think we deserve a free lunch. What would happen here is that the people here would benefit to a point and, after that, we would get people coming in with no social conscience, not wanting to pay tax, putting their yachts here. And I would hate that to happen. The poverty of Ireland should be dealt with before people on the Aran Islands get benefits.

That could be the dark lining of the silver cloud. With the government in Dublin now deciding on the tax-haven plan — do you think it's a good idea? Should struggling or unique communities get a pass from paying taxes? Are you moving there now?

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Join The Conversation
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 7 years
The Irish cherish land as if it were family.
True-Song True-Song 7 years
Good point! But if your family's lived there forever you probably don't want to move. Too bad people are so emotional. Ruins our great plans.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
If it's that damn hard to live there and only 3,000 residents I think they would be better off coming back to the mainland and giving the island back to nature.
stephley stephley 7 years
Probably, but the neighbors would laugh and say rude things about your intelligence in Gaelic.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 7 years
What if you promise to learn Gaelic really really well????
True-Song True-Song 7 years
Could you buy there if you're a non-Gaelic speaker but you agree to pay taxes?
stephley stephley 7 years
Always with the clouds Steph!
stephley stephley 7 years
Always with the clouds Steph!
amybdk amybdk 7 years
There you go again, Miss Negative Nancy. :wink:
stephley stephley 7 years
Don't pack yet: "Whatever the possible effects of a change, strict planning and residency laws would almost certainly prevent complete outsiders buying up island property. You currently have to be a native Gaelic speaker, for a start."
stephley stephley 7 years
Don't pack yet:"Whatever the possible effects of a change, strict planning and residency laws would almost certainly prevent complete outsiders buying up island property. You currently have to be a native Gaelic speaker, for a start."
raciccarone raciccarone 7 years
Great idea, so long as you put out your own fires, teach your own children, and never get sick.
True-Song True-Song 7 years
Of course I'd rather keep all of my money, but I like to think about the things my taxes pay for. I like to imagine all my tax money goes to libraries.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 7 years
I had the same question when I read this, Torgleson! Is the Irish government going to cover those costs?
True-Song True-Song 7 years
No taxes? None, no income tax, no sales tax, nada? Then, would there be police? Libraries? Roads?
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