Kaarst IHK managing director Jürgen Steinmetz sees the planned tax increase in Kaarst as a mortgage for marketing the location. He warns of the possible consequences.
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK) Middle Lower Rhine warns the Kaarst mayor Ursula Baum against an increase in the property tax rate. Last week, the Kaarst administration proposed an increase in property tax B by 64 to 504 points. “For companies, trade tax is more important than property tax, but of course a property tax increase also damages the quality of the location and is a mortgage for marketing the business location,” explains IHK Managing Director Jürgen Steinmetz. In addition, one must consider that the prospects of many companies are again uncertain in view of the currently increasing number of infections and stricter restrictions.
Steinmetz refers to the last location survey in Kaarst. “At that time, the property tax rate was the fourth most important location factor. This shows that an increase in this tax is relevant for the quality of the business location, ”he says. With a rate of assessment of 504 points, Kaarst would belong to the top group within the municipalities belonging to the district. Of the 17 municipalities in the Middle Lower Rhine, there are so far only three municipalities with a property tax multiplier of 500 or higher.
The city of Kaarst defends the planned tax increase on request. “The need for budget consolidation is beyond dispute. In this way, the city secures its freedom of action and design, also in the development of the commercial site, ”explains city spokesman Peter Böttner. In addition to the structural savings, an increase in property tax had been proposed in order to control the burden on households and businesses evenly. The actual additional burden for the individual taxpayer is very low compared to the income for the household. The city wants to avoid that the consolidation has to be carried out by individual groups. “The criticism from the Chamber of Industry and Commerce was to be expected. The arguments put forward are familiar to the administration and were taken into account when weighing up the proposed measure, ”said Böttner.
Jürgen Steinmetz, meanwhile, rates the announced settlements in Kaarst positively: “That shows how attractive Kaarst as a business location is at the moment. Tax increases damage the attractiveness. ”The Chamber of Commerce advises to keep the assessment rates for all types of tax at a regionally below average level. Steinmetz hopes that the forecast additional income from the settlements will perhaps prevent tax increases.