Bulgarian PM Calls on Mayors to Increase Taxes Due to Rising Security Expenditures
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov called on mayors to increase the local taxes in view of the expected rise of the state expenditures on security.
Borisov noted that the EU is changing its course and will be allocating more on security, with the Union expected to exercise stricter control on EU programmes and projects.
In his words, the latest terrorist attacks necessitated increase in the expenditures on armament and security, with Bulgaria also to allocate hundreds of millions to these fields.
The prime minister warned mayors that the fiscal discipline of the state depended on them, calling on them to be very careful in the implementation of projects financed by EU funds.
They had to be especially careful in conducting public procurement procedures and the absorption of EU funds.
According to him, even if only one or two municipalities were to mess something up this would reflect on all the others, which would necessitate fiscal corrections to the state budget.
Borisov called on the mayors of the large cities to refrain from populism and increase the taxes in order to stop burdening the government budget as had been the case until now.
At the same time, the taxes for smaller settlements and villages should tend to zero, daily Dnevnik informs.
As regards security, Borisov pointed that an increase in the expenditures on warplanes was expected as there were plans for the repair of old aircraft and the acquisition of new one.
He reminded that the government was conservative in this year's budget, but for next year more funds will be allocated to security, the relevant services and facilities on the borders.
His expectations were for the state to demonstrate a similar fiscal discipline next year, as had been achieved in 2015 through improving the collection rate of the revenue agency and customs.
Borisov pointed that this year there have been additional allocations of BGN 151 M to pensioners, BGN 185 M to the interior ministry, BGN 56 M to the defence ministry, BGN 105-106 M to tobacco producers, BGN 50 M to stock breeders, BGN 100 M to the repair of motorways
He also expressed readiness to discuss the possibility for fiscal decentralisation.
The prime minister made these comments on Monday at the opening of a two-day conference entitled “Perspectives for local authorities and the new programme period”, which will be attended by Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov, Regional Minister Lilyana Pavlova and Environment Minister Ivelina Vasileva.
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