Municipalities are trying to prepare for the increase in energy prices, but they claim that planning is nearly impossible because they do not really know what to plan for, nor how much they will have to pay. Several municipalities may go bankrupt unless they receive additional financial support, reports ATV News.
“Public institutions and public lighting for the city of Szekszárd consume three million kilowatts of electricity. Even an increase of 10 Ft. (US $0.03) would mean tens of millions of forints, and the 50-60 Ft. ($0.13-0.16) increase under discussion would have the effect of turning the budget on its head,” said Zoltán Rácz, deputy chairman of the economic committee and member of the Long Live Szekszárd opposition caucus.
“It really is a big problem. For now, we are only getting a feel of the problem and looking for a solution. Additional resources are needed. This is how we’re thinking, but we don’t know exactly from where. We’re still working on it at the moment,” said Péter Máté, head of the town’s Fidesz caucus.
In smaller towns, the rise in utility costs can be an even bigger problem. The mayor of Surd in Zala County says that the problem doesn’t seem to have any solutions:
Until now, we’ve paid 1-1.2 million Ft. ($2,614-3,137) for gas, and now we have to pay 8 million ($20,914). Then there are the elderly, the doctor’s office, the kindergarten, the mayor’s office. So it’s impossible to manage it with the money we have. We don’t have funds for a third of what we have to pay out. There’s nothing to pay it with.
-said Surd Mayor János Kanász.
The town’s only source of income is a municipal tax, according to the mayor. They are planning to introduce a local business tax as well, but it may not bring in any extra income until next year. [Magyar Hang]