FURTHER TO Juan Bautista Roselló’s shock resignation after 18 years as Mayor to Benissa in December, Abel Cardona of the left-wing Reiniciem Benissa party is now in place, following a three-party agreement between Reiniciem, PSPV-PSOE and Compromis.
The new executive has found they are held to previous electoral commitments of Rosello and in particular, the generalised reduction of IBI by 20% over 2 years since 2015.
In his 2015 election campaign, Rosello visited to the notary’s office and committed to lowering IBI by 20% in two years. In 2016, the municilpality collected 424,054€ (8%) less than in 2015 and in 2017 the funding pot will decrease by another 445,527€ (8%).
The new executive contacted the Ministry of Finance to try to renege on the committed 8% reduction for 2017 but was met with a negative response.
Finance Councilor Fernando Lopez Corsi of the new executive stresses that whilst they are in favour of lowering taxes, they would prefer to do so in a progressive and less generalised manner, meaning those who are financially better off pay more than those who have less. It will also not reduce taxes at the cost of reducing the provision of services.
The new executive has slammed Rosello for having mortgaged the present and immediate future of the municipality with ‘populist’ and ‘electoralist’ economic measures. Lopez stated that ‘to reduce IBI in a generalised way is not a responsibility; it is an atrocity and one which detracts from the capacity of the consistory to provide services and undertake investments’. Within the current IBI reduction framework, those who have more real estate are in fact rewarded in comparison to those who have less.
The economic outlook for Benissa this year changes radically and whilst the government team are working on a new budget, it is having to come to terms with having 445,527€ less in finances than last year and the possibility of giving up certain investments.