Bjelovar to Become First “Tax Free” Town in Croatia

Total Croatia News

The goal is to increase employment.

The town of Bjelovar wants to become the first so-called “tax free” town in Croatia, so that entrepreneurs wishing to invest in the city, regardless of whether they are local, from other parts of Croatia, or perhaps from other countries, would be free from paying most local taxes, said on Wednesday the Mayor of Bjelovar Dario Hrebak at the presentation of the town’s operational support programme for investors, reports Večernji List on October 19, 2017.

“We are aware that, in this way, we would initially lose some of the funds in the town budget, but we feel this would be compensated in time with greater employment and opening of new jobs. Although we probably cannot attract big investments to Bjelovar, it would be enough for just 20 small businesses to open up to ten new jobs each,” said Mayor Hrebak.

Deputy Mayor responsible for economic affairs Igor Brajdić presented the measure informally called “1-1-1”, by which the town administration wants to lower local taxes and other fees for all entrepreneurs who intend to invest within the administrative boundaries of the town to just one kuna, starting from next year.

“The municipal communal contribution will be one kuna, the communal fee will be one kuna, and the price of land which is owned by the town will be one kuna,” said Brajdić.

The event gathered 30 entrepreneurs who welcomed the town’s incentive measures, which should take effect early next year and apply to investments in the fields of manufacturing, processing, agriculture and tourism. “They have presented concrete measures, and in this way, they have demonstrated that the town administration will change its policies towards entrepreneurs, which we welcome,” said Jakov Ćorić, president of the Bjelovar branch of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce and the managing director and co-owner of the Gale company from Bjelovar.

Although the town would not be entirely “tax-free”, since the local tax surcharge would still have to be paid, this is undoubtedly a significant step forward in terms of pro-business policies. The abolition of parafiscal charges, such as communal fees and contributions, will significantly help all those who are thinking about launching a business and might attract some of them to come to Bjelovar.

The town authorities announced that the measures would be in effect from early next year. Although there will be a slight decrease in revenues of the town budget in the first year, in the long term this is a sustainable policy since the revenues will ultimately increase due to the growth in employment.

Pro-business policies at the local level such as these should become an example to other local self-government units.

Translated from Večernji List.


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