DEPARTMENT: François Sauvadet outlines budget guidelines for 2023

The majority that evokes “useful debt”, the opposition that relaunches “waiting management”. The debate focused on the position of the departmental debt slider, this Monday November 28th. François Sauvadet presented “a balanced, committed and audacious budget for the Côte-d’Or”.

The debate on the orientation of the 2023 budget was on the agenda of the session of the departmental council of Côte-d’Or, on Monday 28 November 2022. In a context of rising energy costs and growing precariousness, the opposition’s interventions they are focused on the level of debt, considered too low by the opposition.

In his introductory remarks, François Sauvadet (LCOP), president of the community, highlighted the investments: “we continue to invest to prepare for the future, it is essential for attractiveness and employment,” he said (read our article) before to defend themselves from an overly “prudential” approach.

Uncertainty about transfer rights revenue in 2023

“How to do more, how to do better when you have less?” asks Christophe Avena (PS), president of the opposition political group Côte-d’Or Terre d’avenir, taking the floor for his opening speech.

The opponent explicitly acknowledges the uncertainty weighing on the community with the increase in spending accompanied by revenue uncertainty due to the lack of visibility on the effects of the energy crisis in particular.

The main question no longer concerns the overall budget allocated by the State – which has been declining for some time, now stabilized by Emmanuel Macron – but rather the fiscal autonomy of local authorities when there is an expected trend reversal in the real estate market, which would lead to a reduction of transfer taxes on incoming Departmental coffers.

“There are all the ingredients to make them fall”, François Sauvadet will analyze. In 2022, transfer taxes are expected to exceed €102 million; 80 million euros are expected in 2023. In 2010, after the subprime crisis, they fell to around 35 million euros.

“Public money, we don’t accumulate it, especially in times of crisis”, according to Christophe Avena

“We must address this balance sheet with strategic management and therefore invest”, insists Christophe Avena who indicates a level of debt “four years below the alert threshold”. “We invest public money, we don’t accumulate it, especially in times of crisis”, continues Christophe Avena who calls for “the implementation of an ambitious multi-year investment plan” in terms of energy requalification of buildings, seeing in the budget guidelines for the 2023 a “waiting management”.

“We must invest in heritage and in people”, he adds, because “poverty is intensifying throughout the territory”, noting “a transition from poverty to extreme poverty” while “on the other side of society, wealth is increasingly important ”.

Patrick Audar highlights “the difficulties of recentralization due to budgetary constraints”

The ecologist Catherine Hervieu (EELV), intervenes to evoke the “tensions over energy”, the “international tensions”, the “withdrawals of identity” in Europe and the “social tensions in France”. “Inflation doesn’t affect the same way depending on income levels”, she underlines to in turn warn of the development of precariousness.

For his part, Massar N’Diaye (without label) calls for an “ambitious” human resources policy, considered “not as an expense but as an investment”.

While François Sauvadet qualifies the observation as a “demago”, Céline Maglica (PS) comes to the aid of her colleague by addressing the issue of the difficulty of recruitment in the professions of assistance and personal services, an observation that widens the debate and wins support of the president of the community concerning “a reflection on the organization of working hours” to be carried out.

Patrick Audard (PS) regrets that the overall budget allocated by the state is not indexed to inflation. The opponent thus points out “difficulties of re-centralization due to budgetary constraints” which pose “problems of local democracy”.

François Sauvadet defends “a balanced, committed and bold budget for the Côte-d’Or”

“It’s not a matter of a prudential budget”, François Sauvadet reacts by raising his tone regarding the interventions of the opposition. “We have reached unprecedented levels of investment, we have dared to prepare for the future when some communities – including the regional council – were completely bankrupt,” he says referring to the community presided over by the socialist Marie-Guite Dufay.

In 2022, net savings reached 39 million euros. It should fall to 20 million euros in 2023. François Sauvadet therefore intends to maintain this level of savings in order to have “room for maneuver for counter-cyclical budgets and to continue investing”. It is “a balanced, committed and bold budget for the Côte-d’Or”, defends the centrist, “the situation is healthy but it is tense”.

Department is considering “additional borrowing”

As this is a debate without a vote – the budget will be voted on 13 December – the session continues with the examination of the reports on the agenda.

The report on the 2023 budget guidelines is presented by Vice-President Patrick Chapuis (LR). Having reduced the debt from 320 to 230 million euros and maintaining the self-financing capacity of around 50 million euros, the community is evaluating an “additional debt” while maintaining the debt reduction capacity around three years, “below the average national.

Revenues for 2023 are forecast at €580 million, of which €210 million in VAT and €80 million in transfer rights for consideration (DMTO) based on real estate transactions. Income from taxes amounted to 33.6 million euros. The total state budget (DGF) is 65 million euros.

Operating expenses are expected to be 540 million euros, of which 330 million euros for human solidarity, equal to 61% of the budget. Patrick Chapuis thus underlines “the social footprint of solidarity spending”.

The rapporteur points out the reduction in the State coverage rate for the individual solidarity allowance (AIS) which entails a residual burden of 76 million euros for the community, to which must be added new expenses that reach 33.5 million euros , “some within the purview of the government but not compensated by the state”.

General administration expenses reached €165 million, including €110 million for the 2,600 departmental staff. 21 million euros are earmarked for the fire and rescue service. Energy-related expenses go from 5 to 11 million euros, which could lead to “a redefinition of the movable policy”.

The investment rises to 81.4 million euros, of which 13.6 million euros for the maintenance of the colleges, 23 million euros for mobility, 16.6 million euros for the “Marshall Plan” to 2023 and 23 million euros for assets and IT security.

The requirement should amount to 51 million euros in 2023, resulting in “a slight increase in debt”, depending on the effective level of transfer rights. “It is a useful debt, for the Côte-d’Oriens, for employment, for taking action”, summarizes François Sauvadet.

“We want to get away from the extreme feminization of certain professions,” says François Sauvadet

Vice-President Martine Eap-Dupoin (LCOP) presents the activity report on professional equality in 2021. Departmental services have 61% women, 78% of category A agents are women. The vice-president underlines the “benevolence” of the community towards professional equality between women and men.

Opponent Caroline Carlier (Génération.s) points out that women continue to be mainly affected by part-time work, while Catherine Hervieu calls for parental leave quotas to be specified in the 2022 activity report. We want to get out of the extreme feminisation of certain professions,” says François Sauvadet.

“There is no other choice than to drastically limit greenhouse gas emissions,” analyzes Sébastien Sorel

Vice-President Céline Viallet (LCOP) presents a report on the rate of intervention within social and medico-social structures and on home support for the elderly or disabled. In particular, it is a question of modifying the investment aid program in favor of medical and social institutions, in order to “maintain a high quality stock, encourage restructuring to improve energy and environmental performance and, finally, reduce the rest to burden of residents and their families”.

Emmanuelle Coint (LR) denounces “a great effort” with a revaluation of the APA increased from 19 to 23 euros in five years (with a new increase to 24 euros in the rural sector). “These are professions that warrant this attention,” comments Christophe Avena.

Vice-President Patricia Gourmand presents a report on the subsidy of social integration workers by the economy. In 2021, 900 people were supported for 517 positive exits, of which 100 with permanent employment.

Vice-President Sébastien Sorel (LCOP) presents the territorial climate energy plan, underlining that the “3 times 20” objectives have been exceeded thanks to the production of renewable energy. “There is no other choice than to drastically limit greenhouse gas emissions”, analyzes the speaker, emphasizing the levers of energy sobriety and the use of renewable energies.

Also president of Atmo Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, opponent Catherine Hervieu asks to detail the types of greenhouse gases in community documents to consider the sources of emissions. A suggestion accepted.

Three hectares for the Restos du Coeur integration project

Vice-President Marc Frot (LCOP) presented the reports on agriculture, noting that, among the 16 hectares of the organic horticulture platform in Perrigny-lès-Dijon, an agreement was signed for the supply of three hectares with the Restos du Coeur integration project (from 1 December 2022 for 10 years).

Vice-President Hubert Poullot (LR) presents a report on the maintenance work on the structures, including bridges destroyed during the Second World War and rebuilt immediately after the war. “For municipalities, the Marshall Plan will allow for intervention,” comments François Sauvadet.

Vice-President Pierre Bolze (LR) presents a report on the aid of one hundred euros granted to young craftsmen of the Côte-d’Oriens received in the 2022 competition for the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France.

Vice-President Valérie Dureuil (LCOP) presents a report on the rural educational territory of Saulieu-Liernais established by an agreement with territorial actors and national education.

Vice-President Valérie Bouchard (LCOP) presented a report on support for Pays and the Territorial and Rural Equilibrium Poles (PETR).

Deputy Vice-President François-Xabier Dugourd closed the session by presenting an information report.

Solidarity with the employees of Vallourec Umbilicals

The jointly written greeting on the Mulhouse-Lille TGV link via Dijon and Montbard in particular receives all the votes (read our article). The same applies to the sympathy wish sent to employees following the cessation of activity of Vallourec Umbilicals in Venarey-les Laumes (read the press release).

A wish on the modernization of the rural revitalization zone system was unanimously adopted as well as a wish, expressed by Christophe Lucand (PS), concerning the financing of the SDIS and the status of the voluntary fire brigade (see below). The departmental assembly also contested the government through a wish claiming “respect for the principle of financial autonomy of local entities”.

Jean-Christophe Tardivon

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