From Michael Sprenger
Vienna – For years, again and again, mostly from Vorarlberg, there has been a push for more fiscal autonomy of the countries. This summer it was the Tyrolean governor Günther Platter (ÖVP) who used the summer to cheer up the discussion again. But unlike previous years, the West is not left alone with the reputation of being able to levy taxes, which until now fell under federal jurisdiction.
Minister of Finance Hartwig Löger (ÖVP) emphasized Monday against the re-emerging debate that the federal government "is ready to talk in principle". He also pointed out to provincial governors that "if countries speak with one voice and take a common position", it would be a "first important contribution" to discuss.
For the coalition partner FPÖ on Monday the deputy FPÖ party leader and Upper Austrian state leader LHStv. Manfred Haimbuchner emphasized the positive attitude of his party towards fiscal autonomy of the countries.
Löger's demand for a uniform position in the country is still far away. Because the black Styrian governor Hermann Schützenhöfer does not want to recognize the value of a fiscal autonomy. The first step must be "finally a real job reform", asked Schützenhöfer. "Styria is not afraid of reform," said Schützenhöfer. "My biggest concerns have always been that, in my opinion, Austria is probably too small for ten tax systems."
And so he meets the biggest opposition party SPÖ. Clubbaas Andreas Schieder fears that a change in the tax system "can only lead to an internal tax competition in Austria". Much more important would be a task-oriented financial equalization between the federal government, the federal states and the municipalities, which would give cities and municipalities more flexibility in the performance of their duties, Schieder said. If you want good schools and public infrastructure everywhere, you also need uniform taxes, "Schieder believes.A" change "in the tax system would affect structurally weak areas.
The red Vienna wants to conclude the discussion: "As soon as a concrete legislative proposal is on the table, we can happily discuss it", said the office of the Finance Council, Peter Hanke (SPÖ). But it needs "more than headlines".
The Carinthian governor Peter Kaiser (SPÖ) pronounces "massive doubts". The Carinthian governor fears tax dumping between countries. Existing challenges, such as the emigration with which Carinthia is struggling, would lead to a "negative downward spiral", Kaiser criticizes.
The provincial governor Hans Niessl (SPÖ), currently chairman of the provincial general conference, is in favor of a wider tax debate, which also includes the European level.