When the city council decided on the budget for 2021/22 in November of last year, it was also clear: Pirna is far from over with the topic of finances.
The budget found a narrow majority with 13 votes in favor against nine against. This laid an important foundation stone for Pirna to continue investing. Without these figures, there would have been a standstill for months that the town hall wanted to avoid at all costs.
However, the so-called Corona budget was still fraught with many risks and uncertainties. Decisive for this were the as yet unpredictable financial consequences of the corona pandemic, changes in the financial resources of the municipalities and additional tasks for the city, which further reduced the budget overall.
Pirna is now recording massive tax slumps on the income side, and this year the country’s key allocations are lower than usual. All of this further restricts the city’s ability to act, especially since it can only spend what it has previously earned.
Frustration in the town hall
Frustration is now spreading in the town hall. “The municipalities are left alone with this financial misery. It cannot be that we have to pay for things alone in our limited budget,” says Mayor Klaus-Peter Hanke (non-party).
So far it has always been possible to manage carefully. The city cannot do anything about the fact that no tax revenue is being received through no fault of its own. Pirna will continue to do his household homework. “But I once again demand urgent support from the federal and state governments. The cities and municipalities cannot carry out this task on their own,” says Hanke.
Nothing works without fresh money
In order to present a balanced budget in view of this almost dramatic situation, the town hall initially blocked 14 percent of all expenditure for the time being. Pirna still has to fill this gap in coverage, especially because there is another hurdle.
The district office approved the budget, but initially restricted the planned borrowing. Pirna wanted to take out new loans of 4.4 million euros this year, but the district office only allowed 2.7 million euros for the time being.
Only when Pirna closes the gap in the budget – the shortfall in coverage corresponds to 14 percent of the blocked expenditure – the city may take out loans in the planned amount.
Pirna is dependent on this fresh money, because without these funds, not a single investment can be made.
So far no majority for the proposals
Because the financial situation does not look rosy in the next two years either, a huge austerity package is now up for debate. The town hall has meanwhile managed to save more than two million euros in the current budget.
However, since that is not enough, the city and city council agreed in the budget decision to sound out further savings and, above all, additional income potential. Pirna wanted to present suitable proposals by the end of the first quarter of 2021.
Without exception, everything was put to the test, from the trade tax to the property tax, the dog tax, the property tax, the guest tax and the parking fees to the parental contributions for the daycare centers. Residents, businesses and guests may face additional financial burdens. There is also talk of postponing any investments that have already been planned.
So far, however, none of these approaches has found a majority in the preliminary discussions. Sächsische.de now presents a few selected points. Whether they are implemented ultimately depends on the voting behavior in the city council. The local parliament will decide on this financial package on April 13th.
Property and trade tax
The assessment rates for property tax A are currently 350 percent, for property tax B 440 percent, and for trade tax 400 percent.
Pirna suggests increasing these rates for property tax A to 400 percent (almost 5,500 euros more revenue), for property tax B to 500 percent (around 518,000 euros more revenue) and for trade tax to 500 percent (a good three million euros more revenue).
Dog owners currently pay 90 euros a year for the first dog, 180 euros for each additional dog, a dangerous dog costs 360 euros a year.
Pirna is now proposing to increase the dog tax for the first dog to 120 euros, each additional dog to 240 euros and for dangerous dogs to 400 euros annually. This would result in additional income of around 42,400 euros per year.
The amusement tax for the use of gaming machines with the possibility of winning is currently 12.5 percent of the gross profit per machine and month.
Pirna is now proposing to increase this tax to 20 percent, which would result in additional income of around 120,000 euros annually.
Pirna currently demands a guest tax of two euros per day from overnight guests all year round and not depending on the season. Pirna is now proposing to increase this guest tax to three euros per day, which would add an additional 105,000 euros to the city coffers.
Parental contributions for daycare centers
Parents in Pirna currently pay a monthly parental contribution of 227 euros for regular nine-hour care of a child in the crèche, the amounts were not increased until September 1, 2020. This sum corresponds to a contribution rate of 18.5 percent of the operating costs incurred in the facilities.
The maximum possible contribution rate in the crèche area is 23 percent, which Pirna would now use as much as possible.
In this case, parents would have to pay 55 euros more per month for nine hours of care in the daycare center – a total of 282 euros per month.
In order to generate additional income, Pirna continues to suggest increasing the parking fees in the public parking lots.
In parking zone 1 (market), for example, the half hour that has started will cost 1.50 euros in the future, and the mandatory parking fee is to be extended to a time from Monday to Sunday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
In parking zone 2 (old town without market, limited by Dr.-Wilhelm-Külz-Str., Dohnaischer Platz, Grohmannstrasse, Grohmannstrasse / Klosterstrasse car park, Elbeparkplatz, Am Zwinger, Niedere and Obere Burgstrasse), the half hour that has started will cost one euro in future , The obligation to pay fees is also to be extended from Monday to Friday to the period from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
In Zone 3 (rest of the city), the half-hour that has started will cost 50 cents in the future, the fee obligation should apply Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Pirna City Council meets on April 13th from 6 p.m. in the district assembly hall in Schloss Sonnenstein. Due to the pandemic situation, residents can currently only send their inquiries to the city in writing to the town hall by email [email protected] Submit. There is no Resident Question Time at the meeting itself.
Read more news from Pirna here.
You can order the daily free newsletter here.