Teltow-Fläming agrees with city and municipality mayors on budget and district tax for 2022

Sometimes it has to beat hard before it gets better. The Teltow-Fläming district and its towns and communities were in this situation last year. There has been more criticism of the district budget and levy than ever. A court also largely supported the complaining city of Zossen. The fronts of the “common family” seemed hardened. All the more surprising was the harmony that the mayors have now brought to the neighborhood. Not a single city or municipality in TF has expressed criticism of the 2022 budget – it hasn’t done so in years.

“The draft budget seems to have been very well received by cities and municipalities,” summed up the district treasurer and deputy Johannes Ferdinand (CDU) in the budget and finance committee on Monday. Traditionally, mayors are allowed to speak at this meeting. In recent years they have actively exploited this opportunity and have hardly left a good hair on the district budget. One in two municipalities recently objected to what they considered a district levy too high. But none of them had a big point of criticism.

Financial reconciliation in Teltow-Fläming

“In all the discussions over the years, some of us have always felt treated unfairly,” said Michael Schwuchow (SPD), Mayor of Blankenfelde-Mahlow. The fact that there wasn’t a single objection from city halls in 2022 was a reaction to the mayors finally feeling the district’s “willingness to settle”, added his counterpart Andreas Igel (SPD) of Ludwigsfelde.

“This is important because we are responsible for the citizens themselves,” said Igel, spokesperson for the working group of all the mayors of TF. “That’s why we want a reasonable argument with a consensus,” she explained, “and not gifts.”

The district tax in TF drops to 39.3% in 2022

By the “gift” Igel was referring to a statement that the district treasurer had made a few minutes earlier. Johannes Ferdinand presented a belated “Easter present”. However, it doesn’t bring much to cities and municipalities. Because despite the contribution rate of 39.3 instead of 40 percent, the amount you have to transfer to the district remains the same. This is due to new key assignments from the state. “It was noted that there was apparently more on the plate than previously planned,” explains Ferdinand. Some cities benefit more than others. Jüterbog, for example, gets 500,000 euros more in key allocations and therefore has to pay around 110,000 euros more in the district allocation. Blankenfelde-Mahlow, on the other hand, still receives less aid from the state due to its good financial situation and now pays around 420,000 euros less with the district levy.

Incidentally, the district also receives more money from the state, about 4.4 million euros more. Despite a string of rumors that have become significantly more expensive than expected – especially rising energy costs and other consequences of the war – the district is earning less than expected on this windfall: instead of 8.6 million euros, around 7, 7 million euros are still missing. They should still be covered with the reserve money that the district has left because it has often planned worse in recent years than it has actually been managed.

Praise to the new Chamberlain AG in TF

Incidentally, without the district levy, this minus would be many times higher. Since the district itself does not collect any taxes, it can demand payment from cities and municipalities. “To be happy to pay for this lack with heart and soul, it is necessary to create a common understanding,” said the mayor of Blankenfelde-Mahlow. Schwuchow then praised a new working group in which three cities and municipalities will be represented in addition to the district finance department. The mayors made these demands last year; the Budget and Finance Commission approved it at its meeting exactly one year ago. “I think bringing financial departments together is a good idea,” Schwuchow said, “to ensure clarity and fairness.”

Mayor: County TF should save more

However, the mayors have a sticking point: the mayor of Ludwigsfelde has warned the district to “absolutely save” in their homework. He cares about standards. “What is needed is not always what is desirable,” Igel said. The TF district must not shy away from confrontation with other administrations. Above all, Igel appeals to district council politicians to keep an eye on their administration. On Monday they will make the final decision on the 2022 budget.

By Victoria Barnack

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