The most important financial document in the city has been adopted and approved. City Councillors have passed the next year's budget for Szczecin. It was being drawn up in extremely unfavourable macroeconomic conditions, but according to the assumptions, it is to ensure the continued functioning of the city with the least possible burden to be transferred to Szczecin residents.
Total income: PLN 3,098,771,319
Total expenditures: PLN 3,293,966,116
Deficit: PLN 195,194,797
To secure the funds for the performance of statutory tasks while ensuring the further development of Szczecin – this was the overriding goal that guided the City’s works on next year's budget. Due to the runaway inflation, marginalised position of local governments and an additional burden on commune authorities in the form of new cost-intensive tasks, these works were very difficult to complete and involved the reduction of expenditures and outlays on investment projects.
Local governments on the margin
Decreasing income and growing expenses - this is the new sad reality of the largest Polish cities. Government policy has led to the slump of local government finances. Unfortunately, this is a nationwide phenomenon.
Under the decisions of central Government, the funds that Szczecin receives have been systematically decreasing year by year. Most of all because the share in the PIT income going to local governments is decreasing. At the same time the expenses are on the rise – for debt service, public transport, energy, and growing subsidies for education and social welfare which are offloaded onto the city by the Government. As a result, the Szczecin budget would be higher by nearly PLN 450 million if the “Polish Order” was not introduced.
Savings are a must
To save the City’s budget, Szczecin is maintaining financial discipline and reducing expenditures, for example, on investment projects which will be by nearly PLN 300 million lower next year than this year's expenses. This means resignation from around a dozen tasks, including the redevelopment of streets, bathing areas or school infrastructure.
In this difficult situation it is necessary to introduce new waste management rates. Adjustments of 5-10% are at the minimum level which allows the continuity of waste management services, in particular in the face of inflation whose level is inevitably coming close to 20%.
Szczecin Budget praised
It is worth adding that, before the document was put to the councillors’ vote, positive opinions about it were expressed by experts from the University of Szczecin and the School of Banking (Wyższa Szkoła Bankowa). According to Szczecin-based economists, the budget ensures security, includes bold assumptions and maintains the city’s financial reliability. These views are also confirmed by the positive opinion from the Regional Accounting Chamber, submitted to the City Office several weeks ago