Bjelovar has set its budget for 2024 at a record-breaking €89 million, an increase of almost 50 percent from the previous year. Mayor Dario Hrebak attributed the significant boost to 20 capital projects financed through European funds. These projects include the restoration of six earthquake-damaged buildings, energy renovation of eight buildings, construction of three new kindergartens, and beginning construction of a new elementary school. Additionally, the city will continue investing in geothermal wells.
Hrebak emphasized that this would be the largest budget in Bjelovar’s history and is both realistic and achievable. The budget also includes the lowest income tax rate in Croatia at 18%, or 28%, making Bjelovar the largest Croatian city with the lowest income tax rate.
The mayor expects that families in Bjelovar will have an additional average salary on an annual basis due to this increase in funding. Despite reducing and eventually abolishing the surtax, the city’s coffers remain well filled. Furthermore, Hrebak stated that the city earned 25% more in revenue compared to the same month last year.
Hrebak also assured that there will be no increase in communal fees and that kindergarten costs will remain among the lowest in Croatia. The budget received support from HSLS coalition partners Zdenka Henc, Borislav Kozić, and independent councilor Dražen Medved during a budget conference held yesterday. However, HDZ’s Nenad Martinovski was unable to attend due to official duties.
In summary, Bjelovar’s mayor has announced a significant increase in funding for various projects aimed at improving infrastructure and quality of life for citizens. The city’s lower income tax rate makes it an attractive place for businesses looking to relocate or expand operations within Croatia.
It is worth noting that despite reducing taxes on individuals and businesses, Bjelovar remains financially stable thanks to its successful investments in renewable energy sources like geothermal power generation.
Overall, this budget is expected to bring positive changes to Bjelovar’s economy and community development plans while keeping taxes low for residents and businesses alike.