To tax or not to tax

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October 31

Manuel Mestre, recently stated that he has already calculated what Orihuela Costa needs to make up for its shortcomings and that is €50 million but what he neglected to tell us, of course, is where he plans to get the money from, and he doesn’t say because he doesn’t know, and if he knows it, he keeps it quiet because there is only one possible resource and that is our pockets, that is to say TAXES. As we know in other PP town halls, like Pilar De La Horadada for example, they have raised their taxes to make up for their short fall.

Also Mestre omits how the other 23 rural districts (pedanías) would be financed, especially Orihuela city which is a real financial burden with all its investments and upkeeps. One of Pepe Vegara’s last key election promises was to lower taxes and municipal fees, reducing local fiscal pressure, in other words respect the pockets of the neighbours, but we find out it was just a pipe dream or just to lure votes as we now have the most expensive town hall ever, and Mestre’s promises to greatly reduce the number of advisors and the wage bill was another omission of the truth,

But Mestre (and also Vegara) remains strangely silent about the fact that the PP and Vox government has been spending leftover surplus funds since June onwards because they have not drawn up a budget for 2023, which mayor Vegara had promised, instead working on a budget for 2024 with new investments amounting to €50 million. As long as these are not ones which were already prepared by previous councils, they will either have to raise our taxes or ask for a loan from a bank to invest. And since the interest on a loan is paid as a current expense, well then the only recourse will be to raise our taxes.

Be that as it may, it is obvious that the election campaign talk about lowering taxes was all just a distortion of the truth. It is difficult to see how Vegara, Mestre, the advisors and the 11 rural district mayors square the circle of the decisions being made and the prospect of the extra financial burden that is possibly just around the corner, how can the indefensible be defended?

In his parting speech, after he was ousted out of office in April 2022, our previous mayor Bascuñana stated that he has left the accounts in better shape than he had inherited them, €59 million in the bank and debts of €7million, as we have had no budget accounts published since 2018 we do not know if this is fact or fiction.

What we do know for certain is that well over 60% of the council’s overall revenue comes from Orihuela Costa that means the other 23 towns/villages contribute just over 30%, this is a burden that Orihuela Costa has had to shoulder alone and can only get worse as our town hall 34 kilometres away squanders our money like confetti, so is a tax rise on our 60% a fair deal?

PIOC – Partido Independencia Orihuela Costa

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