During the June municipal council, the annual accounts of the city of Zottegem were explained. “The positive results of the annual accounts are partly due to extra subsidies that we receive from Flanders. The outstanding debts were also further reduced. The booked surplus ensures that Zottegem is equipped for the challenges in the future.” explains alderman of Finance Leen Goossens (CD&V).
“Zottegem also met the double balance criterion in 2021. Both the budgetary result (EUR 3 610 984) and the car financing margin (EUR 5 456 406) are very positive. The good results can be attributed to the higher operating income. These are more than 2.2 million higher than estimated. We were allowed to receive more operating subsidies from the higher authorities, such as the covid-related subsidies, a larger contribution from the municipal fund and additional VIA subsidies. 2021 was not a year like any other. Covid still had a major impact on general health and social contacts, but also on city finances. A number of income could not be collected due to covid. Such as the concession fee for the Foyer, Aquataria and Park Van Breivelde during the mandatory closure. The catering operators also did not have to pay an annual terrace tax. Certain services such as CC Zoetegem and locations such as the OCs, party hall and banquet hall were unable to open their doors for a long time. As a result, income from ticket sales or rental fees fell drastically. “Covid had a major impact on many elements in our daily lives. It is no surprise that city finances are also affected by this. However, we can say that the city has digested everything well, which we also see in the figures for 2021. There is also good news in terms of outstanding debts. The debt was further reduced for the third year in a row and has already fallen by more than ten million since the start of this legislature. vThe reduction in debt ensures that we have a solid foundation for future projects. The booked surplus can be put to good use to meet the challenges that are now facing us. Due to high inflation, personnel costs are rising rapidly and energy costs are also skyrocketing for us. The general price increases also increase the cost of many ongoing investment projects. Thanks to the positive results from 2021, we are well equipped to meet these financial challenges.”