Local council chief calls for greater tax raising powers

The Netherlands’ 403 local authorities would like greater powers to raise money through local taxes, the local council association chairwoman Annemarie Jorritsma told website nu.nl.

Jorritsma, who is also mayor of Almere, said the fact that government wants to transfer responsibility for most non-residential care provision to local authorities makes it imperative to give them more choice.

‘People will soon notice what a council is or is not doing,’ she said. ‘Councils which want to provide more luxurious care will be more expensive for locals than councils with a sober approach,’ she said.

Some 10% of local funding comes from local taxes, the rest from central government. ‘It is essential to be able to make budget choices at a local level,’ Jorritsma said. ‘In the rest of Europe, councils raise at least half their income from local taxation.’

People would not end up paying more taxes overall because the contribution from central government would be cut, she said.

The Netherlands goes to the polls to elect new local councils in March.

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