Sepsiszentgyörgy mayor criticizes 2019 budget draft

This year budget draft – already two and a half months late – will put many municipalities in an untenable financial position, Sepsiszentgyörgy/Sfântu Gheorghe mayor Árpád Antal told news portal Maszol. He said that while the budget draft will leave a higher percentage of revenue taxes with the municipalities, it will increase their financial burdens to a significantly higher degree.

According to the draft, 60% of the revenue taxes will be allocated to the municipalities, 15% to the county councils, and 5% will be redistributed to individual municipalities by the counties and the remaining 20% by the county tax offices. In exchange for the higher share of taxes, municipalities will be responsible for the financing of the childcare system, non-ecclesiastic employees of churches and those with disabilities and their caretakers.

Antal said that in the case of his city this would mean a net loss of RON 6.5 million ($1.57 million) resulting from an additional RON 3.6 million from taxes and extra responsibilities amounting to RON 10 million per year.

The case of Sepsiszentgyörgy is typical of the national reaction: many mayors across the country have said the same since the budget has been published by the government, saying they will have to cancel most development projects and/or fire a large number of municipality employees. Some mayors have already threatened they will resign in protest.

The Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ) also said that on account of the higher burdens placed on municipalities it cannot accept the budget in its current form and RMDSZ President Hunor Kelemen said that if the draft remains, his party will have to submit its proposed amendments.

Title image: Sepsiszentgyörgy mayor Árpád Antal (photo: Zsolt Kovács)

Author: Dénes Albert