VERA’S governing conservative Popular Party says it will reduce taxes and water tariffs, but not yet.
Commenting on the PP’s decision to vote against an opposition PSOE-A Municipal Socialist Group proposal put forward at last week’s plenary meeting to reduce the IBI property tax from the current 0.59 to 0.53 per cent, party spokesperson Catiana Sorianao said that now was not the right time.
Soriano said the PP had included a reduction in taxes and water tariffs in its electoral programme, but insisted, “we cannot implement these measures without a prior study which gives us the appropriate time and percentage of a reduction to apply without generating budget instability for the municipality.”
She maintained the reduction in the tax rate “would mean reducing the council’s income for undertaking new projects by nearly €900,000.”
The PP spokesperson also maintained her party is “working so that the money and municipal surplus impact on residents, but without reducing the quality municipal services and benefits which all Vera people deserve.”
Vera PSOE reacted to the rejection of the IBI reduction proposal by accusing the PP of “deception.”
A party statement said the PP “falls short with a generic and wishful thinking announcement on its intention to lower taxes without saying how or when.”
The local PSOE claimed a six point reduction in the municipal IBI rate would put it at the provincial average according to estimations based on Tax Ministry figures taken from the land registry.
“On having approved the proposal nearly 30,000 owners, residents and non-residents, would have benefitted from a substantial saving”, commented Socialist spokesman Martin Gerez.
In an earlier statement Martin Gerez argued that the “council’s economic and financial strength, based on the nearly non-existent existing bank debt and the excellent balance of the liquid assets make it the ideal moment to reduce the tax burden.”
The PSOE statement also said Vera has the fourth highest number of urban estates among Almeria’s municipalities: 30,166 according to recent figures, PSOE asserted, with more than 29,000 taxpayers and a combined property tax value of nearly €1,600 million.
PSOE said it was in favour of an IBI cut so it would be residents, as taxpayers, who benefitted from the “optimum state of the municipal accounts.”