Can the revenue system for the municipalities be set up differently?

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Arne Rønning Municipal board representative for MDG, Oppdal

Published:

3 February 2024 at 16:14
Updated:

3 February 2024 at 16:14

This is a debate post. It expresses the debater’s own attitude.

When the manger is empty, the horse bites, says an old saying. Rarely has the saying been more descriptive than when it is now advocated for a different distribution in the income system from the state to the municipalitye.

The address was quickly forwarded in leadership position that Trondheim could not submit anything, the finance council in Oslo the same. The mayor of Larvik showed cracked roofs and walls at the municipality’s schools and blamed insufficient funding from the state, at the same time that her party had promised to remove the property tax. An election promise she wanted to fulfill. Some of the same is true in Stjørdal. Although they have not gone to the same lengths in describing the misery, the mayor is just as clear in his opposition to property tax.

The revenue system for municipalities is almost as complicated as the agricultural settlement and has the goal of equal services for the residents of all municipalities. The municipalities are, to say the least, very different. To remedy this, there are district subsidies with differences in northern and southern Norway, there are metropolitan subsidies, regional center subsidies, growth subsidies and discretionary subsidies. Municipalities with high tax revenues must give something to those with low ones. And then we have the lucky municipalities with license income they keep themselves. Not to mention municipalities with rich uncles who set up sports halls, decorate schools and generally contribute to public goods.

When it comes to distribution, the word distribution implies that someone will lose. Those who lose will feel it, property tax or not, writes Arne Rønning
Photo: Private

The cities must not be punished

Is there a difference between King Solomon and Jørgen hatter on Lian?

– No one has an overview of what type of nature has been lost

I guess we never had better public services than today, but we have also never had higher citizen expectations. Quite typically, expectations are highest in municipalities with a high socioeconomic level. In this way, the municipalities will always feel poor. The most important thing to keep or increase the grant is population and employment. Ideally, both should grow. And if it grows enough, the municipality receives a separate growth subsidy.

This leads to that the municipalities hardly know what good they should do for companies and individuals who want to set up a business. Neighboring municipalities are outdoing each other in the attempt to achieve growth in population and employment. Areas are made available, requirements are relaxed, and commercial buildings are built that are made available.

For municipal directors and municipal politicians, there is always a thought about growth in the back of their minds. The idea that eternal growth is not possible has gradually taken root in many people. Perhaps it is better to change the incentives in the revenue system to reward municipalities with a focus on taking care of what we have, existing residents, existing infrastructure and remaining nature and food-producing areas?

In light of the recent focus on land use, topped off with NRK’s ​​report on “Norway in red, white and gray” and the series “Oppsynsmannen”, it may be appropriate to put a price on the land. Also the areas that we can today only value as having intrinsic value, i.e. nature.

Neither bird nor fish

Two mistakes in one day

Thieves in the field

The MDGs have, like Venstre and SV, on several occasions advocated a nature tax or an area tax. Today, it costs nothing to change land use. Area changes often mean income for the municipalities. If you put a price on this, it will become less attractive to build down. And nature would have an economic value in addition to its intrinsic value. The condition must be that the fee does not accrue to the municipality that has adopted the area change. Quite the opposite of how it has been with license fees, where the municipality has profited financially from destroying nature in favor of energy production, fish farming and the like. On the other hand, in the income system, a subsidy could be added to those municipalities which, by virtue of being land authorities, take care of nature and food-producing areas. Furthermore, grants could be established for the restoration of areas so that the municipalities have a realistic opportunity to become nature-positive in the long term.

Such a facility on the fee would also answer some of the challenges the mayor of Oppdal, Elisabeth Hals (V), recently brought to light on Dagsnytt 18. Then the economy and jobs will not always trump nature.

As it will now presumably be, there will be some small adjustments. When it comes to distribution, the word distribution implies that someone will lose.

Those who lose, will then feel it, property tax or not.

What do you mean? Send your text to [email protected] or participate in the debate in the comment field at the bottom – and remember your full name!

The article is in Norwegian

Tags: revenue system municipalities set differently

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