A public meeting for discussing the 2021 budget is expected in early February.
The Chair of BIA Radosvet Radev and the Vice-President of the Association Stanislav Popdonchev discussed the implementation of the budget of Sofia Municipality for 2020 and the draft budget for 2021 with the Mayor of Sofia Yordanka Fandakova and Doncho Barbalov, Deputy Mayor for Finance and Health.
Mayor Yordanka Fandakova explained that BGN 1.884 billion is the set budget for 2021. BGN 1.375 billion of it are funds for current activities and state-delegated activities, which include an increase of the salaries of the teachers, social workers and healthcare personnel.
"BGN 509 million is the amount of Sofia's capital program, and over 50% - BGN 296.3 million are the grants we have attracted by European programs," the mayor of Sofia explained.
"2020 was a year of trials, which, of course, affected our budget. Reduced economic activity and uncertainty led to BGN 13.6 million less revenue in the municipal budget compared to 2019, as well as two re-writes of it. We expected a worse result, but the implementation of the budget for 2020 is mainly due to the revenues from local taxes and basic fees, which Sofia residents continued to pay, and I thank everyone who continued to do so. The reduction stems from the non-operating kindergartens, the patent tax on taxi services, the tourist tax, and the discounts from the fee for sidewalk law and for rents of municipal properties.
The losses in the public transport are the largest - at the end of 2020 they reached BGN 48 million. We have planned an increase of BGN 4.5 million to guarantee the fulfillment of our commitments to drivers, this will be the third year, in which we increase wages. At the same time, it is very important for transport companies and colleagues to provide a stabilization plan for the sector.
Our forecast for municipal revenues in 2021 is BGN 108 million more for state delegated activities, BGN 35.5 million more attracted from European programs, BGN 56 million pledged from investment loans and transitional balance and BGN 22 million. "More own revenues, compared to the initial budget for 2020 - for the growth we rely mainly on real estate taxes and remunerative acquisition, as well as the garbage tax", the mayor of Sofia pointed out.
A public meeting for discussing the 2021 budget will be held in early February.