STA, 7 November 2018 - Representatives of the government and municipalities on Wednesday signed a letter of intent that sets municipal funding provided by the state at EUR 573.5 per capita. The pledge was also made to draw up legislative changes within six months that will help reduce the costs carried by municipalities.
Finance Minister Andrej Bertoncelj signed on behalf of the government, while the heads of the three associations of municipalities, Branko Ledinek, Robert Smrdelj and Matej Arčon, signed on behalf of local government.
Prime Minister Marjan Šarec, who was also on hand, said municipalities had hoped for more, but an agreement was reached as they understood the general financial picture in the country.
The per-capita funding figure is a source of tensions each year. The government and municipalities were still relatively far apart in October, with the former proposing EUR 570 per capita and the latter at least EUR 575.44.
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Šarec announced this was only the first step in improved cooperation between the government and municipalities. The plan is to also work together in an upgrade of relevant legislation, which is plagued by various issues that the PM finds more burning than per capita funding.
Šarec, who served as the mayor of Kamnik until recently, said few people could really imagine all the tasks municipalities were dealing with.
"This government understands this very well," he said, announcing a joint effort to secure "legislation that will allow them to develop more effectively, while also securing transparency".
The EUR 573.5 figure, which remains to be confirmed by the government and by parliament, was welcomed by the municipal representatives, who spoke of a compromise. Smrdelj said it is 20 euros higher than the funding for this year but still 35 euros below the projected costs for 2019.
The funding provided by the state is meant for a range of services municipalities are obliged to carry out by law, such as primary school, primary healthcare and social security services.
The funds provided by the government for local government are known as "povprečnina", whose main source is personal income tax.
The amount a municipality receives a year is calculated as an annual lump sum per capita and transferred from the state budget.