After the presentation of this year’s draft budget by Mayor László Papp, Lajos Barcsa presented the details of the local government’s financial management, public education, sports and institution renovation tasks on the 13th of  February 2024.

Lajos Barcsa was the first to talk about the city’s local tax revenues. He explained that while in 2014 the rate of business tax was only 10 billion forints, now, ten tax years later, the city’s income was already 28 billion forints.This is set to rise even further this year, with HUF 35 billion planned in the 2024 budget. During this period, revenue from building tax has increased by more than HUF 800 million and tourism tax by HUF 80 million. All in all, the city’s economy has tripled in the last ten years.

The Deputy Mayor added that the city pays a solidarity contribution of HUF 8 billion, while the government provides HUF 21.4 billion in normative and HUF 58.3 billion in investment aid to Debrecen.The former includes HUF 7.2 billion to support public education, and HUF 6.7 billion to support social, childcare and child welfare tasks, while the latter includes, for example, the development of the Environmental Control System and the installation of solar parks.

Lajos Barcsa detailed the city’s economic development investments,for which this year slightly more than HUF 80 billion will be allocated. Of this amount, the municipality will continue to build the infrastructure of the Southern Economic Zone and the North-Western Economic Zone, the former with HUF 14.2 billion and the latter with HUF 11.3 billion. He emphasised that the development of the Northwestern Economic Zone could practically be completed this year, while the main part of the work in the Southern Economic Zone is just starting.At the same time, a major water utility development is also included in this year’s budget, amounting to HUF 55 billion. The deputy mayor also highlighted the HUF 9.2 billion that can be spent on transport , which includes large-scale asphalting, residential road works, road stabilisation and pavement reconstruction, in addition to urban road works. He spoke separately about the development of the cycle path network, which reached 80 km in 2014, and the completion of the Pallagi Road cycle path in 2024, through which the total length of the cycle paths in Debrecen is close to 110 km.However, the expansion of the cycle path network does not stop here, as the Sustainable Urban Development Strategy includes the development of several cycle paths, the first step of which will be the construction of the Létai Road cycle path using TOP+ funds. Lajos Barcsa added that significant road development is also taking place this year on state roads with the support of the government, as a result of which the investment of five major junctions will start, while the preparation for the development of 14 other road sections is underway.

‘Of the HUF 5 billion item of the institutional development programme, the investment of the Epreskert Gymnasium will be completed, but the settlement of several TOP tenders and the preparation of TOP+ tenders will be carried out this year’ Lajos Barcsa said.

The Deputy Mayor highlighted the kindergartens among the municipal institutions, where kindergarten staff can expect a significant salary increase according to the new Pedagogical Career Path Act, which will require an additional HUF 666 million in funding for this year. At the same time, state funding for public education will increase by HUF 2.2 billion compared to 2023.

Speaking about the activities of EDC Nonprofit Ltd, Lajos Barcsa said that this year the company has planned  407 million forints in municipal subsidies. EDC’s plans for 2024 include organising the supplier forum again and implementing education programs. He also stressed that with the help of the EDC they are trying to position the city to host more and more international conferences. These events would have a very positive impact on the hotel and service sector in terms of stimulating tourism.

Lajos Barcsa said about the city’s sports expenses that the largest part of the HUF 1.72 billion budget is the HUF 1.425 billion management of the Debrecen Sportcentrum Nonprofit Ltd. The city spends HUF 423 million to support prominent sports organisations, such as the DVSC Football Academy, DVSC Handball Ltd., Civic Water Polo Sports Association (Cívis Póló Vízilabda SE), DEAC Sport Nonprofit Ltd. and the Debrecen City and District Football Association.

In addition, the municipality has allocated HUF 103 million for mandatory and voluntary sports tasks, including support for amateur sports, support for  special  sporting events, support for the sport of slag engine motor racing and the Béla Békéssy Sports Scholarship. 

Regarding the tasks of the Debrecen Asset Management Ltd. in 2024, Lajos Barcsa emphasised that the city government’s goal is to ensure that the holding’s member companies serve the citizens of Debrecen with the highest possible quality, while at the same time not forgetting about development. As an example, he mentioned that the replacement of the diesel bus fleet of DKV Ltd.,  which started at the beginning of January 2022, will be completed in 2024, and from the last quarter of the year only new Mercedes buses will be running. The company will do all this without planning any tariff increases, and from the 1st of April, the use of public public transport will be free for students under the age of 14 in Debrecen.

The Deputy Mayor concluded his briefing by saying that, in general, it can be said that in 2024 the workers of almost all sectors can expect a pay rise, as institutional budgets will see a significant increase in staff-related expenditure, and thanks to the successful public energy procurements, we can successfully leave the high utility prices of last year behind us.

Source: Debrecen.hu

Author: Debrecen4U