More than 15 million euros are allocated to investment and works, with the continuation of the Arona Avanza plan.
The tax burden will be reduced to the neighbors by more than 775,000 euros for this year, with a progressive reduction of the IBI.
Social policies and investment are once again a priority, with a 4.6% increase in Social Services.
The City Council of Arona raises the Municipal Budget of 2018 for its initial approval, which registers an increase of 1.38% over the previous year and exceeds 100 million euros for the first time (December 28). a total amount of 101,126,769 euros), an increase limited by the submission to an Economic Financial Plan (PEF), for exceeding the expenditure rule in 2016 and despite the good state of the municipal coffers. The document, which includes the four autonomous agencies and the municipal company Adesa, is governed by the guiding principles of the social and economic policy of the municipal government, with a 4.6% increase in Social Services (with innovative actions in the fight against social exclusion), more than 15 million euros for investment and works, and a commitment to mobility and the general improvement of public spaces and infrastructures through the Arona Avanza municipal plan.
The mayor of Arona, José Julián Mena, and the councilor of Finance, Raquel García, presented the details of this budget, the third of the mandate, the second of this year (the 2017 was approved in April) and the first in many years that is presented before the economic year, a document that,
despite the limitations of the PEF and the Rule of Expenditure, it is committed to the social welfare and economic development of our municipality, and takes into account the reality of Arona, a city of great economic and social dynamism that is becoming a benchmark metropolitan in the south of the Island “.
Mena explained that,
we have a population that is increasing, already with almost 95,000 people, and that demands, increasingly, a modern administration, that practices an adequate governance to this reality, with the will that the economic development is reflected in the quality of life of its citizens and enable a better redistribution of wealth. This economic and demographic capital of Arona in the south of the island implies a greater need for public services in the city.”
The mayor valued that,
This is a long journey, but we can say that, with this budget for 2018, we advance in the objectives set by the municipal government team, which are prioritizing spending on social policies, a commitment to mobility and improving road infrastructures, fiscal reduction, economic and business development, public services with high quality standards, sustainability, cultural development and conservation, maintenance and beautification of municipal infrastructures, in order to improve the development of all nuclei of population and for whose attainment is necessary the citizen participation”.
Reduction of tax burden
The councilor of Finance explained the details of the budget and said that in 2018 will apply the first reduction of the tax rate of Real Estate Tax (IBI), which will change from the current 0.59 to 0.57. This supposes a reduction of 4% of average in each receipt and a decrease of income for the municipal coffers of approximately 775,110.77 euros. In 2019, another additional reduction of two tenths will be carried out, going on to establish the tax rate at 0.55 for 2019 and following, with the consequent new fall in collection.
In addition, detailed the municipal situation following the approval of the Economic Financial Plan (PEF) this 2017 for the breach of the spending rule in 2016, this despite the fact that the City of Arona does not have financial debt and meets the health indicators financial. In fact, the net saving collected in this 2018 Budget amounts to 3,650,522 euros, significantly increasing by more than 2.9 million euros compared to 2017. To this is added a remnant of treasury that will be known in the liquidation of the 2017 budget, but which is already close to 50 million euros and whose use is restricted by the PEF.
Raquel García appreciated the unfairness of applying these criteria of maximum ceiling of annual expenditure to a solvent and healthy municipality, limiting the municipal growth capacity as if it were an indebted administration. For this reason, it demanded from the State an urgent modification of the calculation criteria of the spending rule, included in the Organic Law of Budgetary Stability and Financial Sustainability, for municipalities, such as Arona, whose economic consolidation is contrasted.
In addition, he assessed that an effort has been made to rationalize expenditure on goods and services in the 2018 budget, with a total of 59,086,357 euros, which represents a reduction of 1.79% (1,076,493 euros) with respect to 2017. This is mainly due to the award of service and supply contracts that have reduced their annual cost, the containment of unnecessary spending and, above all, the achievement of objectives of economies of scale and rationalization of current spending.
Almost 58% more in investment
However, complying with the restrictions established by the state expenditure rule and the PEF, the investment effort applied to this budget is the highest of the last 7 years, with more than 6.38 million financed with own resources and collected in the Chapter 6 (up 57.8% with respect to 2017), to which more than 4.2 million euros are added for the continuation of works started this year that ends, various actions included in chapter 2 as maintenance (plans for asphalted and sidewalks or improvement of playgrounds) or the amounts (collected in Chapter 7) that the City Council contributes to the agreements signed with the Council for the placement of fiber optics or the Strategy for Improvement of the Tourist Area (the latter, with a municipal contribution higher than 2.36 million).
More than 3.7 million euros will be invested in sports infrastructure renovation works and more than 1.5 million in improving the urban landscape and public recreation areas, with a list of interventions that include the drafting of the project for the new Las Rosas Urban Park, the Recreational Park of Arona casco, the conditioning of green areas in Las Galletas, the improvement of playgrounds, the municipal plan for the improvement and beautification of sidewalks, as well as projects already awarded and to be executed in 2018.
Apart from the investments already mentioned, the consignments for the new municipal administrative building of Arona, the project of the new security building of Las Americas, the new interpretation center of the Palm-Mar, the conclusion of the work of the Civic Center of Las Galletas or performances on Calle El Horno in Cabo Blanco.
In addition, a municipal contribution of 225,000 euros is included, within the framework of the Cooperation Plan with the Cabildo, for the municipal sanitation network, to which is added the completion of actions initiated in 2017, such as Parque la Trujilla, the pavilion cover in Valle San Lorenzo or the new Las Galletas Civic Center.
One of the fundamental axes of this document is found in the policies of expansion and consolidation of the welfare state. Thus, the budget of the Autonomous Agency of Social Services increases, with respect to the previous year, by 4.6% and exceeds 4.61 million euros, with 1.020.000 euros for social emergency aid, 200.000 euros for aid for the rehabilitation of basic housing needs, or 500,000 euros of municipal contribution for the Extraordinary Program of Social Employment Arona.
To this is added a commitment to pioneering resources, such as Provivienda, to guarantee decent housing for people with scarce economic resources; the Housing First program, for the homeless, or Ninive, for the care of young people who are part of families at risk of social exclusion.
Likewise, the municipal contribution to Adesa’s budget is increased, with a grant of more than 1.2 million to improve the quality of the services provided to users in the facilities managed by this entity (day-care centers, nursing homes, centers specialized for minors or women, etc.). In previous years, an important investment has been made in improving the facilities, which continues this year with a budget of 195,000 euros for the renovation of nurseries, in addition to the construction of a new residence for the elderly in Arona casco.
The budget includes actions to boost economic and business development, where the primary and tertiary sectors (especially the commercial sector) are key; or interventions that take into account the importance of tourism as the main economic driver of the city and the Southern region.
In fact, in addition to the almost 1.5 million euros of budget of the Tourist Board, various investments are contemplated in tourist areas, such as the improvement of the walkway and the source of the Playa de Las Vistas, the change of pavement of Paseo Juan Alfonso Batista, in Los Cristianos, or the improvement and conditioning of the beach of Los Tarajales.
The mayor also stressed that the budget,
recognizes mobility as one of the main challenges and thus a 2.2 million euro item is allocated in chapter 2 for the third asphalt plan, in a bid to improve road infrastructures, in addition to advancing in the line already established to promote public transport”.
Thus, within the framework of the urban transport competences assigned to this local administration, the heading is increased in chapter 4 for the financing of urban collective passenger transport lines, by means of an agreement with the Cabildo, with the aim of expanding the number of services rendered and up to the amount of 167,513 euros.
The 2018 budget is committed to consolidating the training of citizens to exercise their rights (which will be carried out with the development of the training program of the School for Citizenship 2018-2019 and the implementation of actions and conferences) and the development of participatory processes. In this line, the process for the elaboration of the Participatory Budgets for the 2019 fiscal year is recorded, through which citizens will become co-protagonists of public policies.
With respect to personnel expenses, there is a correlation between the credits of Chapter 1 included in the Budget and the Staff Annex of this Local Entity for this fiscal year, with a total amount of 18,874,621 euros. Although there has been no increase in this chapter, the 1.75% increase in Chapter 5 Contingency Fund has been recorded, pending the approval of the Budget Law for 2018 and its forecast of increase in the amount wage. This chapter includes the variations collected in the framework of the List of Job Positions, approved by the Plenary in the year 2017.