Low increase in local tax revenues

7th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

7 April 2005, AMSTERDAM — Municipal tax revenues will increase by 4.9 percent this year, the lowest increase since 1987, according to the country's statistics agency.

7 April 2005

AMSTERDAM — Municipal tax revenues will increase by 4.9 percent this year, the lowest increase since 1987, according to the country's statistics agency.

The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) — which describes itself internationally as Statistics Netherlands — said total tax revenues collected by municipal authorities in 2005 would come to EUR 7.3 billion.

But according to the latest CBS figures, the burden on households will increase substantially due to the abolition of the Zalmsnip state subsidy.

The Zalmsnip was an annual EUR 45.38 (originally NLG 100) paid as a rebate to households.

In total, about EUR 300 million is involved in the Zalmsnip subsidy, which was mainly given for rebates on property tax or garbage collection rates.

But members of the public have been more upset by what some claim have been undue increases in the valuation of their homes by their local municipality to generate higher revenues from the property tax.

The official title for this council tax is the onroerendezaakbelasting, usually written as OZB.

The property tax will provide local authorities with EUR 3.5 billion this year.

On average, households will pay 4 percent more OZB than in 2004: 3.7 percent more for the user of a building (tenant) and 4.2 percent for the owner of the building. Last year, the increase in OZB averaged 6.8 percent, the CBS said.

The charge for garbage collection and processing will bring in EUR 1.6 billion, up 2.6 percent on last year when the increase averaged 5.9 percent.

Dutch sewerage charges are the third largest municipal tax. This charge increases this year by 8.1 percent.

The CBS said this is due to increasing costs of the sewer system and the aim to charge a larger percentage of the actual costs.

Some municipalities introduced or reintroduced the sewerage charges, whereas residents previously paid for the sewer system via property tax.

Although the revenues in municipal taxes will rise fairly little, the burden on households will rise substantially, due mainly to the abolition of the Zalmsnip.

Despite the higher tax revenues, the CBS said the total income for Dutch municipalities will fall, mainly due to a reduction in the tasks performed by local authorities.

Expenditure on education will decrease this year, for instance, because schools are being privatised. As a result, the state contributions for these schools will disappear from the municipal budget.

The merger of local social services into non-municipal agencies and changes in the way childcare is financed will also hit municipal funding.

The CBS said another factor expected to impact negatively on municipal budgets is that local governments were too optimistic in their state contribution estimate for 2004.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news + local taxes in the Netherlands

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