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Riga approves 2017 budget

On Tuesday the Riga City Council approved the city's 2017 budget with projected revenues of €856.5m and expenditures of €885.4m.

This means that the city will run a budget deficit of 3.3%.

The revenue projection for next year is €47.3m (5.8%) higher than this year. Budget reserves are estimated to stand at €24.9m at least at the end of 2017.

The largest part of Riga budget revenue next year is made up of revenue from personal income tax - €545.1m. Property tax is estimated to total €107.4m, and transfer payments from the state budget - €145.6m.

According to the Riga City Council, budget deficit will decrease over the next three years. In 2018, budget revenue is estimated to reach €891.3m and expenditures €886.9m, and in 2019 - €896.1m and €900.5m respectively.

Riga budget priorities next year will be social support, education, and infrastructure development.

€328.7m or 36.8% of total budget expenditures will go to education, €83.7m (9.36%) to social protection, €221.2m (24.7%) to economic activity, €91.8 million (10.2%) will be paid into the municipal cohesion fund, €72.6m (8.1%) will be spent on general public services, €28.5m - on housing and land management, €42.1m on recreation and culture, €3.9m on environmental protection, €18.5m on public security, and €3.3m on healthcare.

The economic activity spending will be used for implementation of infrastructure and public transport programs, street maintenance, Riga Construction Board, tourism development programs, land acquisitions for municipal needs, and others. €96.8m has been set aside for Riga public transport, and €11.6m for street reconstruction.

Budget investments are planned at €51.7m next year. Funding for projects co-financed by the European Union and for other projects is projected at €40.1m.

In late October, Standard & Poor's affirmed Riga's credit rating at BBB+/A-2 with a stable future outlook.

(Graphic: Long-term debts of the Rīga municipality in millions of euros, with a forecast for 2017. Credit: Riga.lv)

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