An excess of 60.3 million for the canton in 2019


The Council of State points out that ‘the situation we are experiencing will have serious effects on public finances in 2020 and in the following years’ with a deficit of over 300 million francs forecast for this year

 An excess of 60.3 million for the canton in 2019
© CdT/Gabriele Putzu

An excess of 60.3 million for the canton in 2019

© CdT/Gabriele Putzu

The Council of State has approved the message regarding the 2019 financial statements which closes with an operating balance of CHF 60.3 million: self-financing stood at CHF 269.3 million. Public debt remains stable at just under 1.9 billion francs. Net investments amounted to 270.3 million francs. Thanks to the operating overflow and the asset revaluation operations announced with the Budget equity returns in positive numbers and stands at 112.2 million francs.

The operating result, as stated in the note, results in particular from a lower disbursement than the budgeted amount of 62.6 million francs against some increases in personnel costs and transfer costs (however fully offset by higher revenues), a decrease of CHF 73.2 million was incurred in the area of ​​contributions to public bodies and third parties.

Slight decrease in revenues

Looking at revenues, there was a slight decrease of 14.2 million compared to the estimate mainly due to the failure to enter into force of the connection tax (-18 million francs), a reduction in tax revenues of 10.4 million francs and lower revenues from transfer for 37.5 million francs. The reduction in tax revenues is determined, it says, by an update of the economic estimates of the BAK for 2019, "It is also noted that the assessments were made with the necessary diligence to take into account the economic consequences that the COVID-19 pandemic will also have in terms of collection of 2019 revenues”.

In the face of these lower revenues, the Council of State reports an increase in some revenue items influenced significantly by external factors. In particular, the higher payment of 27.6 million francs of the Swiss National Bank's profit share, the 14.8 million increase in supplementary taxes and fines and the return by Postbus of 10.3 million francs of contributions received in excess in past years.

Negative figures for 2020 are expected

The 2019 result closes with positive figures, underlines the Council of State, "we must nevertheless examine them with the necessary foresight". "The situation we are experiencing will have serious effects on public finances in 2020 and in the following years. Already today, a largely deficit result can be estimated for 2020 which will bring equity back to a negative area”.

“The financial equilibrium achieved in recent years allows us to face the situation starting from a slightly better base, even if the difficulties we will face in the coming years will be many. The same will be faced with responsibility and with the necessary rigor in order to focus efforts on what is actually necessary and a priority. It will be necessary to act with foresight, in order to guarantee future generations, the possibility of developing their own planning. As indicated, the financial situation of the canton will be challenging in the coming years, the negative equity that we will find at the end of 2020 will have to be reabsorbed by pursuing the financial balance of the accounts in the medium term".

The Council of State concludes by stressing that "the current emergency is showing that healthy public finances are not only the prerequisite for a fair sharing of the burden between generations, but also the basis for having the necessary room for manoeuvre to face the periods of crises that may suddenly occur”.

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