The government approved the ordinance that allows local authorities to hike or not to hike local taxes, warning that these taxes represent a source of income for the local administration because mayors will not receive funds from the central budget to make up for the difference in uncollected sums. The ordinance was to be published in the ‘Official Journal’ yesterday.
Vice-premier Liviu Dragnea said the document is valid for 2013, saying local authorities can decide over local taxes, fines, local imposable real estate, according to the government decision in 2012, up to the level included in the government decision dated last year.The decision is expected to put an end to the row between government official and several mayors regarding the level of local taxes.PM Victor Ponta pointed out that local taxes were last hiked in 2009, back when Cluj Mayor Emil Boc was Prime Minister. “Local taxes were last hiked in 2009, back when Mr. Boc wasn’t the Mayor of Cluj, he was the Prime Minister. It’s always important on which side of the net you are, you change your opinions. Mr. Boc hiked them by 20 per cent back then. Now as a mayor he doesn’t want to hike them at all from what I understand,” Ponta stated. Cluj-Napoca Mayor Emil Boc stated yesterday that local taxes will be compulsorily hiked by 16 per cent next year and can be maintained at their 2012 level only this year. “The government ordinance posted on the Finance Ministry’s website was clearly stating that the level of local taxes can be hiked once every three years if the mayoralties want to. On the other hand, the simple ordinance draft discussed by the government on Wednesday points out local taxes can be maintained at their 2012 levels only in 2013. The difference consists of the fact that the emergency ordinance was giving local authorities the right to hike or not to hike taxes by 16 per cent, while the new ordinance introduces the 16 per cent hike starting in 2014.
In other words next year all local taxes will be hiked in order to match the inflation rate and in 2014 the hike will start off from 16 per cent and local taxes could be hiked by up to 20 per cent,” Boc explained. He pointed out that next year no local authority will be able to maintain taxes at their 2012 levels. Asked why such a change in the government’s point of view occurred, Emil Boc stated that the government realized that “reality beats fiction, reality beats statements.” “After the elections’ euphoria they changed tack,” the Mayor of Cluj stated.