Just a few days after splashing out 315,000 on a new car, the Mayor of Split proposes tax increases to meet the budget shortfall.
Split Mayor Ivo Baldasar explained his recent proposal to increase local taxes from 10 to 15 percent, which should be adopted by city councillors at their meeting on Tuesday. As the main reason he cited the decline in tax revenues and the national tax reform which took 65 million kuna away from the Split local budget. He added that they had not been able to neutralize the losses in any other way. The city administration has made some savings, but the revenues are still about 35 million kuna less then expected, reports Dalmatinski Portal on January 21, 2016.
“It clearly can affect the standard of living for people in Split. It directly affects the social system, education, science and sports. I am not prepared to accept the decline of standard of living in Split, and therefore we have decided to increase the local tax”, said Baldasar. The increase will bring additional 16 million kuna to the city budget which will be spent for health care, social services, science and sports.
“It would not be justified to continue like this, and Split is among the last of the major cities in Croatia which has decided to increase the local tax”, added Baldasar. He also mentioned that this was a temporary measure, which will however last at least a year. “As mayor, I have to make some tough decisions as well. I am aware that people will not like it and the opposition must do its job. I am not a populist, I have to run this city”, concluded the mayor.
Unsurprisingly, HDZ’s Split branch is against the proposal. “The decision by Mayor Baldasar is outrageous and worrisome. The city councillors have to make decision about a bad draft of the decision without any proper explanation. That is why HDZ believes the decision is unjustified, irresponsible and bad for the citizens of Split. It is clear that Mayor Baldasar with this decision does not recognize what the citizens of Split really need today. They need measures which will improve their daily lives”, said HDZ in a statement.
Marijana Puljak, one of independent members of the Split City Council, is also against the proposal. “The outgoing mayor is thinking only about how to take the money away from the citizens. After he started charging for parking literally everywhere in the city, he now proposes to increase the local tax from 10 to 15 percent. It is a shame that they are increasing local tax, instead of withdrawing money from EU funds, which even the smallest municipalities in Croatia are doing, but Split seems unable because of ignorance and arrogance of the current local government”, said Puljak. “We see that they are planning to raise a loan for the modernization of street lights, and half of villages in Croatia have managed to solve it with EU funding. After this, we can only expect additional employment of party members and friends in the city administration”, she added.