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Budapest Mayor István Tarlós announcing city not willing to finance commuter transport | Tamás Kovács / MTI

Budapest not to pay for commuter transport

D&T
December 22, 2015

In the future, Budapest will not participate in financing public transport for the commuter belt outside the city proper, Mayor István Tarlós is quoted by portfolio.hu as saying. The statement follows an apparently unsuccessful marathon talk Tarlós had with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

In the future, Budapest will not participate in financing public transport for the commuter belt outside the city proper, Mayor István Tarlós is quoted by portfolio.hu as saying. The statement follows an apparently unsuccessful marathon talk Tarlós had with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

The issue of public transport is up for the satellite towns to discuss directly with the state, Tarlós stressed.

In a capacity as Mayor of Budapest, Tarlós rejected last week's amendments to the law as unacceptable as they would result in a HUF 20.7 billion financing gap for the city.

There was no question time at the end of the press conference, however Tarlós said talks between the city and the national government would continue in January as promised by the Prime Minister.

A mixed bag of legislation passed by Parliament on 15th December re-regulated local taxation and amended the Allocation of Funds Act that regulates how the Budapest Municipality and individual districts divide funds and expenditure, the Mayor reminded.

"In theory, these amendments were designed to ensure financing of public transportation in Budapest," Tarlós said.

"However, the content of the amendments is not in line with my proposals," he stated. The financing issues of mass transit in Budapest, which have been unresolved for 25 years, are only "solved" by the new law at the expense of creating a financing gap where the city's other responsibilities are concerned, Tarlós argued.

"By approving this amendment, the state did not provide any additional funding for the responsibility it has given us - quite to the contrary, it is providing even less funding for the mandatory responsibilities of the local government than before," Tarlós said. The modest 1.5% hike in the amount Budapest is receiving from local business tax is significantly less than the funds that will be taken away from the city budget in 2016, he stated, adding that the higher local tax revenue is not actually an increase as it will be taken away from the budgets of each district in Budapest.

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