At the Béziers municipal council, duel over city finances and local taxation

At the Béziers municipal council, duel over city finances and local taxation

Les épais dossiers des finances locales. – F.Faux

Le maire Robert Ménard et son opposant Thierry Antoine ne partagent pas la même vision de la santé financière de Béziers.

The public accounts, presented during this municipal council, were the subject of lively debates. In total, the City spent 178 million euros in 2023, including 48 million in investments. The outstanding debt increased from 119 to 123 million.

According to Thierry Antoine, " Never has Béziers been so in debt ". The opposition environmentalist advisor recalls that the Associated Taxpayers association gave the City a score of 7.4/20, " which is not an award for excellence ". But for Robert Ménard, this debt is also the sign of a strong investment, which has increased in a few years from 30 to 50 million euros: &amp ;quot; After Covid, we chose to invest. Either we remained on the defensive, or we borrowed to make our businesses work and improve the lives of the people of Béziers.

Solvency ratio

The real criterion for measuring the financial health of Béziers, assures the mayor, remains the solvency ratio (the number of years that it would take to a community to repay its debt): " When we arrived it was 9.2; today it is 4.7 ".

The duel then continued over the amount of property tax collected by the municipality. "In 2024, Biterrois will pay more than in 2023 and given that the economic situation is degraded, this is bad news", deplores Thierry Antoine. And the tone immediately rose: " What demagoguery, retorts Robert Ménard. This increase is only due to the increase in the rate decided by the State. For our part, for ten years, the increase in the municipal share has been zero! "

Thierry Antoine's suggestion – the City could have decided to lower its own rates – is drowned out by the protests of the majority. " How can we change this country, with people like this ", Robert Ménard protests. " A little respect ", asks the opponent, who will not have the last word.

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