The city of Zurich continues to spend the money generously

Expenditure will increase sharply in 2023. The city council can afford this because the tax revenue is flowing in lavishly, the city council believes.

The housing fund alone accounts for CHF 100 million in the City of Zurich’s budget.

Simon Tanner / NZZ

The budget of the city of Zurich for 2023 provides for a deficit of CHF 173.5 million. This at an expense of 10.3 billion Swiss francs. The estimate is shaped by the financial consequences of recent political decisions by the red-green-dominated parliament and the city council: the accumulation of a municipal housing fund alone will cost 100 million francs.

Around a third of the expenditure of around 10 billion Swiss francs is accounted for by staff. 24,092 jobs have been budgeted, which corresponds to an increase of 375.6: 210 for example in the school authority due to the increase in the number of pupils and the expansion of childcare offers, and 84 in the self-employed businesses. Cost-of-living adjustments for city employees cost CHF 39 million.

The city of Zurich presents a red budget

Invoices from the city of Zurich, in millions of francs, and outlook

In the words of the city council, it sounds like this: Policies are “oriented towards stable financing of services that make the city an attractive place to live and do business”. At the end of 2023, the city had equity capital of just under CHF 1.5 billion.

The budget is red, and red figures are to be expected in the years to come. This is shown by the long-term financial and task plan that the city council submits with the budget.

In recent years, however, the city of Zurich has said that a negative budget is followed by a positive conclusion. For one simple reason: the tax money seems to flow unchecked.

According to the city council’s forecast, around 3.4 billion francs will flow into the city treasury next year – another 269.2 million francs more than in the 2022 budget. Around two thirds will go to natural persons and one third to legal entities, i.e. companies. Tax revenue for natural persons will increase by around CHF 71 million and for legal entities by CHF 115 million compared to the previous year’s budget.

The capital gains tax pours in 420 million francs, and the real estate gains tax brings in exactly the same amount, thanks to “real estate trading that is still very brisk with increasing profits per average case”.

No tax cuts are planned, the tax rate remains at 119 percent. CFO Daniel Leupi (Greens) is quoted in a statement as follows: “There is no scope for reducing the tax rate, nor is an increase necessary.”

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