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Cities plan big tax increases to fill empty coffers

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Cities plan big tax increases to fill empty coffers
Photo: DPA
10:15 CEST+02:00
Residents of many German cities will see their local taxes and fees rise significantly in 2011 due to a record €14-billion budgetary shortfall, the German Association of Towns and Municipalities (DStGB) said Monday.

Cities have been warning for months that they won't be able to cover the rising costs of social benefits and other services in the wake of the country's worst financial crisis since World War II if the federal government doesn't step in to help.

Now they have resorted to tacking on extra fees and taxes for residents to make ends meet, daily Bild reported.

Many already plan to introduce the increases in 2011 for property taxes, public transportation, waste collection, street cleaning, and cemetery maintenance, among other things.

In Munich the dog ownership tax will double, while the Hessian city of Korbach will see waste collection fees jump by 50 percent, and swimming hall prices in the Rhineland city of Eschweiler will go up by half, the paper reported.

DStGB head Gerd Landsberg encouraged the federal and state governments to lend a hand.

“Here we need to finally have a turn for the better. Otherwise communities will be incapacitated,” he told the paper.

DAPD/ka

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