From Iceland — City Budget Makes Positive Reversal

City Budget Makes Positive Reversal

Published November 16, 2011

The budget for the city of Reykjavík will go from being in debt to having a surplus next year, much to the relief of mayor Jón Gnarr.
Like every other public institution in Iceland, the capital has had its share of financial woes. Forced to make drastic cuts and take hard decisions on spending while having a severely devalued currency to run a city with, the mayor said the budget had been a constant source of emotional stress for him. However, the budget for next year sees a positive turn-around.
Over the course of the next year, the surplus from the city budget will be 3.6 billion ISK – a significant change, when compared to the 5 billion ISK debt the city has had to contend with in 2011. Despite this positive change in the budget, the mayor says they are not yet ready to lower taxes or change municipal fees.
Sóley Tómasdóttir, the city council representative for the Leftist-Greens, said she was disappointed that the surplus will not be used for new and creative projects for the city.
Conservative councilperson Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir expressed disappointment as well, that taxes would not be lowered as a result of the surplus.
Nonetheless, the mayor remains positive, telling reporters that while the budget has often made him openly weep, “I haven’t been crying over this budget,” adding that he expects the positive trend to continue.

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