The city council invested more than 1 billion euros in the city in 2021: more than ever before. The money was spent on neighborhood facilities, care centers, sports grounds, building plots, schools, maintenance of quays and bridges, safety and culture. Due to the investments in the city, the external debt increased by 550 million euros in 2021 from 6.1 billion to 6.7 billion euros. This is stated in the annual report for 2021.
In its annual report, the Executive Board reports on the implementation of the policy set out in the budget for 2021. The budget for 2021 has a total size of 7.9 billion euros, making it the largest municipal budget in the country. This is the last annual report of the current college.
Consequences of the corona crisis
Due to the consequences of the corona crisis, the annual report shows disappointing own revenues such as tourist tax, parking revenues and dividends. In total, the lost revenue and additional expenses due to the corona crisis in 2021 were 371.4 million euros, not including the additional expenses to include Tozo (approximately 220 million euros) and GGD (141 million euros), where directly against government contributions. In 2020, the lost revenue and additional expenses due to the corona were approximately 320 million euros.
In 2021, Amsterdam collected 235.8 million euros in parking fees and 231.6 million in property taxes. The municipality received 42.4 million euros in tourist tax. For comparison: before the corona, in 2019, the revenue from tourist tax was 133.6 million euros.
Councilor Simone Kukenheim (Finance, acting): “Last year was mainly dominated by the corona crisis, just like the year before. That crisis had a huge impact on the social and economic system of our city. I am glad that, despite the disappointing income, we have been able to invest more than ever in Amsterdam. For it is precisely in a crisis that one must invest countercyclically, investing the city out of the crisis. In addition, we have done everything to help Amsterdamers and entrepreneurs cope with the consequences of the corona crisis. ”
The municipality introduced support measures for entrepreneurs within taxes, fees and rental of municipal real estate. There was also a support plan for the arts, culture and sports sector and an action plan for support for the self-employed.
In addition, the Municipal Council is working on recovery by continuing to invest in the economy. The sustainable and social recovery package must help and retain as many inhabitants of the municipality as possible at work. In the field of education, educational disadvantages are offset by a package of measures, such as extra tuition, extra summer schools, free laptops and internet connections. And in 2021, there was also the corona offensive against poverty and debt.
Positive account result
The account result of the annual report for 2021 is EUR 80.8 million. This is largely due to the release of 55 million euros from the provisions for Affalds- og Energiselskabet, which was established in 2019 to the possible write-down of AEB due to the safety problems that existed at the time. This amount is released because it is no longer necessary for AEB due to the sale agreement entered into in December 2021. The account result goes to the municipality’s general reserve, the buffer, with which financial setbacks are absorbed.
The annual report is presented with an unqualified audit opinion (for both the fairness and accuracy of the years presented).
Look forward to
Despite the positive account result, the accounts and uncertainty are great. Amsterdam’s finances, like those of other governments, are being hit hard by rising inflation and rising wages and costs. At the same time, there is a significant investment task and less municipal revenue.
In the near future, the state will create greater clarity about how many resources the municipalities can expect in the coming years. The state will also make a number of other important decisions on issues such as housing, youth care, sustainability and climate. These decisions will require a lot of the municipalities in terms of implementation, but also in terms of cost. They will have an impact on Amsterdam’s budget.
The 2021 annual report will be considered by the City Council on 22 June.