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Finance Minister: ‘Facts disprove’ Budapest mayor’s claims

Financial reports of the past five years "clearly disprove" claims by the mayor of Budapest that the city was not paying taxes because "the government is bleeding out the city", the finance minister said on Thursday.

Varga posted a chart on Facebook showing 1,107 billion forints (EUR 2.8bn) in business tax payments and central budget allocations to the municipal budget in 2019-2023 as against 160 billion paid by the city to state coffers in solidarity tax during that period.

“The mayor has not paid taxes since last June … Budapest has rejected to pay 46 billion forints in solidarity tax until March,” Varga said in his post.

Out of that amount, 28 billion forints had already been collected by the Treasury while the mayor was seeking to postpone the payment of the remaining 18 billion, the minister said.

The solidarity tax is a contribution by wealthier local councils to support poorer localities, Varga said. The city’s leftist leadership would be harming them, had the government not supplemented their funding, he added.

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