It involves a lot of money and big strategies, but dramaturgy is reminiscent of a fleeting summer novel. It was only five months ago that the financial director of Zurich wanted it Ernst Stocker share his happiness with everyone. In light of the abundant earnings, he announced that he would reduce the tax base from 100 to 98 percent from 2020, while at the same time relieving the cantonal staff of the austerity program. They get the full salary increase again. In the golden July, the gentleman told about a household of fifteen billion families and then walked away from the luxury problem of swimming in the money. And yesterday? He adapted his message against the bleak weather at the press conference on the consolidated development and financial plan (KEF).
The budget for 2019: corrected downwards. The mountain of debt: no longer very scary. The budget: tilts by almost half a billion in the minus by 2022. This makes it difficult to hear, because the financial director said in March to the announced tax cut: if the outlook would cloud, it should come back to that. Yesterday, Stocker specified this sentence: the outlook should "blur up considerably" – and that did not happen.
SVP: «Do it all»
Especially his own party, the SVP, may have heard that. She announced yesterday that it "did everything" to implement the tax cut. However, she is only with this attitude. The FDP circumvents the subject, the CVP is skeptical and the tax reduction has no chance left in the middle. Whether this will continue in the coming year depends on the level of confidence in Stocker's assessment of the financial situation.
Good times? Bad times? At the moment, opinions can hardly be further divided. Even where one should actually agree, as is shown by two opinions on the part of the trade union. "Black painting!", Sounds from the staff association VPOD, who is worried about the salary development of the government. "Paints!", The trade union federation, who assumes Stocker, shouts hell taxes want to lower.
Calculate with strangers
Only one agrees: it can also be very different. Financial planning of more than four years is never exact science, but very political and constantly on the move. But currently this is very special. Reason is the tax invoice 17, the new edition of the failed tax reform of the urn III. This is still going on in Bundesbern. Although close to completion, but absolutely nothing. The predictors of Stocker have assumed in their calculations that the interests of Zurich will prevail in the Bundeshaus. So that there is an adapted special solution with which the canton can introduce the controversial profit tax adjusted for interest rates.
According to the financial director there were no signals to the contrary. His argument had caught: one has to take care of the "dairy cow Zurich". This means that no one is helped, if the foreign financial companies attracted with tax benefits move away from Zurich and the canton gets into trouble. Instead, they are expected to pay up to 180 million tax francs per year. Much more than before.
But even if there are no more surprises in Bern, the taxes on companies will eventually decrease. Stocker estimates the defaults on 50 million Swiss francs in 2020 and 250 million in the following years. Although he admits that such predictions are full of uncertainty because: "What do we know what 2022 is?" But he is convinced that someone has come closer to the truth. "The losses are lower than we thought a year ago."
Problem financial compensation
Together with the planned tax reduction for natural persons, which costs another 100 million, the tax losses amount to two percent of the cantonal budget. As a result, the total yield is stagnating as of 2020, and some contributions have been made in addition to the taxpayers, in particular the university hospital and the transport association.
Stagnating revenues are compensated by rising expenses. According to financial planning, they will increase from 15.5 to 16.5 billion francs over the next four years. The most important reasons can be found in the draft budget for the coming year. For example, the canton will have to pay more than 200 million more in 2019 than expected in Zurich's financial equalization system. This is because the average taxpower has increased and the rich donor communities have less to contribute. This also applies to the following years.
The salaries of the personnel are also considerable: the price increase and the stopping of the savings exercise in wage increases costs 100% 100 million francs per year, according to Stocker. In addition, more staff will be recruited, especially in hospitals, which, however, will also increase revenues. Finally, the expenditure on making health insurance premiums cheaper increases considerably.
Debts are rising sharply
Although the gap between income and expenditure increases, the eight-year budget is almost in balance. The canton wants to invest as before: about a billion francs a year. But because he does not have enough of his own resources, the last decreasing debt will rise sharply in 2022, from about 5 to 8 billion francs. Stocker expressed his concern yesterday. The AAA rating of the canton is not threatened as long as the ratio between debt and income is less than 60 percent. "But you have to ask yourself whether you want to do that to the same extent." At some point interest rates rise again and the money is no longer free. "
The bourgeois parties criticize that the space that has been won with the austerity program Lü16 has already been exhausted. The SVP announces cancellation with health and education. The FDP denounces the increase in means of public transport that forced the Left and Greens into the ballot box. These, in their turn, suspect contempt for the referendum, because Stocker wants to correct this increase, according to the financial planning already in 2021. That means: the summer romance is followed by a hot autumn.
Created: 31.08.2018, 22:17