The Reus budget for 2023 will be 131 MEUR, 3.7% less than this year

The municipal budget for 2023 amounts to 131,261,080, 32 euros, 3.7% less than this year's budget. For the government of Reus, the accounts planned for next year are "for growth", since they take into account that the 2022 budget contemplated the investment with mortgage financing of La Hispània and "not this coming year, we will not have a project of that magnitude." “The budget will be expansive, that is, it will promote economic activity, putting citizens at the center. Balancing the budget has been complicated, but we will put all this into practice with measures of economic stimulus and social sensitivity”, announced the councilor of Hisenda, Mariluz Caballero, this Wednesday, November 9.

The files of the fiscal ordinances –taxes and rates–, on the other hand and as already announced in an appearance last month on the fiscal planning of 2023, will be frozen. The City Council will take the budget and ordinances to the plenary session on November 18 for approval and will present it to the citizens beforehand. On Wednesday, November 16, there will be a public hearing (6:30 p.m.) at the Center Cívic Ponent addressed to the residents of Reus and led by Caballero and the Councilor for Participació, Bon Govern i Serveis Generals, Montserrat Flores. This has been announced by the Mayor of Reus, Carles Pellicer, and Councilor Caballero herself. “The City Council is in good economic health and has sufficient muscle to minimize the impact generated by the current economic and social context on citizens and companies. We have the objective of improving the services of the people of Reus with rigor and good management with these budgets”, Pellicer explained.

An investment plan of 12.6 MEUR

On the files of the fiscal ordinances and among other points, the mayor has advanced that they will bet on "quality services", that they will maintain the investment effort with an investment plan for 2023 that they will soon announce and that amounts to 12.6 million of euros. The government will also promote extraordinary measures for the economic and social boost. "As we said, we will not increase municipal taxes and fees, we will maintain the tax credits in force despite the current context of rising energy and life prices and we will continue to reduce indebtedness", highlighted Pellicer, who, like Caballero, has stated that The forecast is to close 2023 with a debt reduction of 1.56 million euros and a legal ratio of 69.47%.

"Not only do we not raise the ordinances, but we maintain the bonuses and I will name a recent one, which is the bonus for installing solar panels, which 50 homes have taken advantage of, something that has meant a tax benefit of more than 41,000 euros" Caballero has emphasized. In fact, it has affected that the forecast is that the total amount of the bonuses adds up to 1.6 million euros and that in three years it has grown by 33%, starting from the base that three years ago stood at 1.2 million .

The councilor of Hisenda has reviewed, for her part, the expenses and income section of the budget forecast for 2023. In the first case, the expense of current goods and services grows by 2.4 million euros due, above all, to the impact on the contracts of the increase in the cost of supplies. Financial expenses, on the other hand, are estimated to increase by 670,000 euros, in anticipation of the official rate increase set by the European Central Bank.

Another element highlighted by Caballero has been the personnel item, which grows by 2.8 million euros due to the increases set by the State for public workers. These elements have resulted in a "significant" increase in expenses, but even so "we maintain all municipal services" and are seen to increase in cases such as: social services, due to the increase in the new program contract signed with the Generalitat (844,000 euros ); and the increase in canteen scholarships (150,000 euros), economic promotion policies (100,000 euros), housing (47,000 euros), education (160,000 euros) or environmental policies (468,000 euros), among others. The increase in spending will be financed in part through the early repayment of loans in 2022, which lowers the cost of repaying loans by three million euros.

Regarding income, Caballero recalled the freezing of tax ordinances for next year: "We anticipate, in this case, a rise in income of 0.57% as a result of the calculation of the standards, which would mean 306,000 euros." Added to the income is the transfer of State taxes, which increases by 1.5 million euros, and more income is obtained through the Social Welfare program contract –1.4 million euros– and the subsidy for the operation of the Escoles Bressol (369,000 euros).

The opposition, without access

The opposition still does not have access to the ordinances or the budget, it plans to access them soon and find out more in the next information commission, scheduled for Monday. The CUP of Reus and the non-attached councilor Raúl Meléndez prefer to transfer their assessment in this regard once they have known how the accounts and ordinances will be articulated for next year.

The mayor of the PSC, Sandra Guaita, mentions, regarding the budget, that a month ago they sent the government the "specific" lines of work that they consider important to work on "improving the city." “That is a sign of our willingness to agree, contrary to what the government does, from which, to this day, we still have no proposal. Once again, ERC, Junts and Ara Reus have decided to move forward without listening to the city, making their budget without assessing anyone's contributions, further proof of this government's contempt for citizens", criticizes the councillor.

Despite the fact that "we cannot" give an opinion on a budget that has to be approved next week and that "they have not yet delivered to us, we hope that they will include some of the main axes that we have sent them". The party considers that it is necessary to act "urgently" in terms of housing, security, public roads, mobility and green areas, "among the more than 100 proposals that we delivered in October and that arise from the more than 1,000 contributions that the people of Reus We have been transferred." The objective of the socialists in the city "continues to work for the day-to-day life of citizens and with this intention we present the budget proposal that, to this day, we have not yet seen incorporated." "Our project is in line with the initiatives that we have been urging the municipal government to comply with since 2019, following the demands of residents that make us arrive day by day," says Guaita.

The spokesperson and mayor of Cs, Débora García, also speaks in the Guaita line: «We regret that, once again, the government team has hidden information from us. On October 25, we asked the Hisenda councilor for the forecast of income they had for 2023 from the budget and she refused to provide us with that information even though they did know it. It is embarrassing that we found out about this information through the press conference. That way of acting is one more example of the constant lack of transparency and the non-existent treatment with which the opposition is treated.

As for the freezing of fees and taxes of the fiscal ordinances, it is, "plain and simple, because they are in the electoral pre-campaign, because if it were the beginning of their mandate, they would not have cared in the least about the economic situation of the people of Reus, as they have shown steadily from 2019 to 2022.”

«The conclusion is that from 2019 to 2022 they did not make the slightest effort to assume the increase in the CPI or to take charge of the disastrous economic context in which citizens lived. It is surprising that they are so complacent with themselves and continue to refuse to apply tax credits that are provided for in the Law and that would benefit the people of Reus”, criticizes García.

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