The Faro Municipal Assembly approved this week a budget of 51.1 million euros for 2021, with a focus on strengthening social support, reducing the tax burden and stimulating business activity.
The municipal budget for 2021 was approved on Monday, with no votes against from the political forces represented in the Municipal Assembly: PSD, CDS, MPT and PPM, who voted in favor; PS, CDU, BE and PAN, who abstained.
The proposal presented had already been approved at a chamber meeting on 18 November with the opposition abstaining.
The executive led by Rogério Bacalhau presented a budget of 51,165,721 euros, one of the highest ever and that, even in a scenario of contraction in revenue, grows considerably in terms of investment – 4,867,410 euros more than the previous one.
"This is a special document, in an atypical year and whose main goals are the strengthening of support and social cohesion programs, reduction of the tax burden on families and companies and encouragement of investment", emphasizes the Faro municipality, in a statement.
The reinforcement of the response capacity to Covid-19 is one of the main vectors of this forecast document, with the allocation of a provisional amount of 565,300 euros, aimed at the allocation of support, the acquisition of goods and services related to the needs resulting from the pandemic, and yet, to encourage the local economy that is already under intense pressure.
The budget may be strengthened in the revision of the budget to incorporate the management balance, in the spring of 2021.
In the current situation of worsening of the crisis in the country, the municipality also allocates “a record amount” of approximately 400 thousand euros to support the rental of needy families and to support works in the first homes, relieving, on the other hand, the tax burden: less 1.5 million euros to be paid by families and small businesses in Faro, by reducing the IMI from 0.38% to 0.35% and exemption from spills for all companies with a turnover of no more than 150 thousand euros.
"It is in times of crisis that taxes should be lowered, seeking to meet the needs of families and, at the same time, favor business activity", says the executive.
Despite these revenue shortfalls, there will be room in the budget to carry out important works, resulting from the loan contracted in 2019, in the amount of 4.8 million euros.
Thus, 2021 will be the year in which the people of Faro will begin to see the materialization of the Official Animal Collection Center, Mata do Liceu, Alameda João de Deus and the Bordeira Cultural and Recreation Center, without forgetting the continuation of Avenida 25 de Abril.
Other significant works will be undertaken in the next year, namely the contract for the removal of asbestos from school buildings whose management has reverted to the municipality as part of the transfer of skills, in the amount of 970,000 euros (tutelage financing); the requalification of Rua Bento de Jesus Caraça and an adjacent roundabout in Montenegro (600,000 euros); the requalification of the Pé da Cruz square (337,980 euros) and the elaboration of the Central Axis of Baixa, for whose project 167,250 euros are allocated this year.
In the year 2021, it will also be up to the municipality to assume new competences, namely in the area of health and municipal police, “modernizing and making the management of sectors in need in the municipality more operational”.
In presenting the general guidelines of the budget, the Mayor of Faro, Rogério Bacalhau, underlined precisely the option for a countercyclical fiscal policy.
“It has the particular relevance of growing in an unfavorable picture of municipal revenues. And this will continue at the moment of incorporating the management balance, which this year will happen much earlier than before, and which will allow the municipality to launch a set of very ambitious investments with the perspective of being able to complete them by the end of the year ”, pointed out .
According to the mayor, this is a decisive exercise. “It is necessary to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic crisis and maintain the growth path of Faro, which is increasingly seen as a vibrant municipality, with people of all ages, with commerce, with entertainment, sports and entertainment. culture for all, ”he said.
“This majority will work for this, without leaving aside the parishes and maintaining the fundamental commitment that is now being renewed: that of being with the families, whatever the cost. We must be resilient and help each other to survive this unprecedented crisis ”, concluded Rogério Bacalhau.