Prague running with a surplus

The city released budget figures for the first half of 2017

The City of Prague ended the first half of 2017 with a surplus of Kč 7.2 billion, the city announced on its website. Last year, the city ended with a reported Kč 12.3 billion surplus.

This savings in the first half of 2017 came from total expenditure of only 39.8 percent of the revised budget, with current expenditure at 47.4 percent and capital expenditure at 15.4 percent.

The most significant spending was on transport, which took 37 percent of the total, and education, youth and sport, which took 27 percent. Capital expenditure is highest in urban infrastructure, at 45.8 percent of the total, and transport, accounting for 13.6 percent.

According to financial website Euro.cz, the city wants to invest a total of Kč 27.77 billion crowns this year, but by the middle of the year it has issued about Kč 3.96 billion for investment projects. The city gave culture and tourism about Kč 93 million.

Euro reported the city's revenues amounted to Kč 39.28 billion and expenditures Kč 31.48 billion, which actually would be a surplus of Kč 7.8 billion. The City Hall website did not explain the discrepancy with the Kč 7.2 billion they reported.

The lower drawdown of approved funds for capital expenditures is in part due to stricter rules in the selection process, which may extend the spending process for several months longer than was typical in the past. Buying land, for example, in more complicated, City Hall stated.

“The municipal budget performance results show a continuously growing trend from the first quarter. The city revenue was higher than the plan by Kč 6.3 billion, and furthermore the tax revenue continues to strengthen, with Prague receiving Kč 2.4 billion more than last year,” Prague Deputy Mayor Eva Kislingerová said in a press release. She added that a higher volume of investment would be reflected in the vacation season data due to increased intensity of implementation.

The highest budget increase occurred with transfers received from the state budget, including forward transfers for schools and school facilities for the holiday periods.

For example, the Education Ministry provided Kč 10.6 billion for direct education costs and Kč 693 million for private schools. The Transport Ministry paid Kč 108 million for demonstrable losses from the obligation to provide public passenger transport by rail.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs provided Kč 719 million for non-investment pay-as-you-go transfers to social services and Kč 24 million for a contribution to childcare facilities for children requiring immediate help. The Ministry of Finance provided Kč 45 million to finance the operation of underground transport systems.

The largest current investment project in Prague is the expansion of the Central Waste Water Treatment Plant on the Císařský ostrov, which should total more than Kč 10 billion.

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