Halle (Saale) –
It was already foreseeable in the spring that the corona pandemic would have a negative impact on the city’s wallet. In the course of the year it became clear that it will be difficult without government aid. After the city council passed a supplementary budget a few weeks ago and thus made more money available, the city seems to be making ends meet, at least in the current calendar year.
Finance officer Egbert Geier presented the current situation of the city at a committee meeting in the town hall and was able to score points with the MPs with good news.
Another 31 million are still missing
The calculation of the expected income with which the city has planned despite the corona pandemic seems to be working. Although there is still a large amount missing in tax revenue until the end of the year, the areas of culture and fines have so far brought in more than expected. In total, the city had raised around 131 million euros by the end of October. Another 31 million are still missing to get back on track.
Without Corona, the city would have earned around 205 million euros in 2020, while Halle’s additional expenses due to the corona pandemic are expected to amount to around 36 million euros. The city will therefore have spent a total of 231 million euros by the end of the year. Only 195 million were planned. The biggest impact on the books is the cost of accommodation (Hartz IV) .Halle has now received financial aid from the federal and state governments, which was urgently needed in many areas.
Reimbursement of the daycare fees in the first lockdown
For example, the city received 2.5 million euros for the reimbursement of daycare fees in the first lockdown in April and May. 13.6 million came as part of the so-called economic and crisis management package. More help is already on the way and should arrive by the end of the year if possible.
Including more than five million euros each for the reimbursement of trade tax and the assumption of pandemic-related additional expenses from the implementation of the Infection Protection Act. According to Geier, responsible for the financial affairs, nothing concrete has been promised for the “partial lockdown”, which has been in place since the beginning of November. The City Council will work out a catalog of demands on how things should go on from the perspective of the municipalities financially.
Havag got help
The Hallesche Verkehrs-AG (Havag) also received help. The city’s finance committee approved a little more than five million euros, which the federal and state governments will forward directly to Havag. The money will be used to plug the holes that have arisen due to the absence of passengers on the trains since spring.
The debts that Halle has been carrying around for years can slowly be reduced despite the crisis. Two large loans taken out in the summer made the councilors on the finance committee happy. Because for the total of almost 28 million euros, the city will have to pay exactly 0.00 percent interest for the next ten years. “I find that very fruitful. The banks are apparently already happy when you take money from them, ”said Bodo Meerheim (Die Linke), chairman of the finance committee. The two loans have a term of 20 years. After a decade, interest rates could theoretically rise again. (mz)