The 2021 budget in Castalla includes a tax cut and more social measures.

  • The annual accounts amount to 9,077,399 euros and highlight measures to combat the effects of Covid-19

The Mayor of Castalla, Antonio Bernabeu, and the Councillor for Social Services, Maite Gimeno, today explained the most important aspects of the Municipal Budgets for 2021, approved in December. The Consistory castellut will have 9,077,399.04 euros for the current year, with a firm commitment to lower taxes for citizens and a strong social character to combat the crisis generated by the COVID-19.

The mayor’s office has reported that the document has been prepared in a rigorous manner, “we have based it on the efficiency of financial management so that citizens can enjoy quality public services”. Bernabeu declared that “the accounts are realistic, balanced and comply with the parameters established by the administration with the aim of improving services to the people of Castalla. In addition, they attest to compliance with budgetary stability”. In this sense, the mayor stressed that “as in previous years, we have made social policies a priority”.

The balance includes a reduction in the Property Tax (IBI). From 2016 to date, the Consistory has stopped collecting an approximate amount of 4,800,000 euros, which have remained in the pockets of local families, representing a saving of 32% in the payment of this tax. The capital gains tax rebate for inheritances is also maintained, with up to 95% of the amount payable to those affected. Likewise, the fees for the occupation of the public highway by the terraces of bars and restaurants are once again cancelled. This measure represents a saving of around 13,000 euros for a sector particularly affected by the pandemic.

The government team has decided to increase investment in Social Services – which includes the areas of Social Welfare, Housing and Equality – with an allocation of 653,575.95 euros. This represents an increase of 114,734.80 euros compared to the 538,841.15 euros that these departments contemplated in 2020.

The councillor for Social Services, Maite Gimeno, recalled “the importance of Social Services in a year in which we have worked hard to ensure that none of Castalla’s residents are left behind due to the impact of Covid-19”. In the same vein, continued the head of the social area, “in 2021 we will continue our efforts to ensure that the health, economic and social crisis of the coronavirus harms as little as possible to the people of our town”.

In addition to the above, Castalla Town Council is planning to undertake a series of investments and projects which, due to their nature, cannot be included in the initial budgets for 2021. However, as the mayor stated, “we hope to be able to carry them out with the new spending rules, the investments coming from the remaining cash flow using it in a reasonable way, without decapitalising the Town Hall and taking advantage of the subsidies coming from the Diputación, Conselleria and the Central Government”. In this section, it is worth highlighting the Sports Pavilion, the new Health Centre and the completion of the ‘Plan Edificant’ – financed entirely with 2.1 million euros by the Generalitat Valenciana. Likewise, the Consistory has the objective of finalising the new plots of land for Industrial Estates and finishing the Castalla Internacional water treatment plant.

Another important item is public safety, which amounts to 889,646.05 euros. In this section, two new local police officer posts have been created, which means that there will be 16 officers, three officers and a chief inspector. A similar expenditure is earmarked for Sports. The allocation for this area is 887,863.30 euros.

As for Culture, the investment totals 456,444.22 euros. As far as Education is concerned, 418,583.37 euros have been set aside this year. In addition, the new post of language teacher for the adult education school created by the Town Council is worth mentioning.

The area of Tourism and Commerce will have 187,572.48 euros for next year. The head of Commerce, Maite Gimeno, has advanced that “we are going to allocate 40,000 euros to promote a new edition of gift cards to encourage local consumption, an initiative that has been very well received in 2020”. For its part, 303,500 euros have been earmarked for the various festivities in the municipality, which, depending on whether or not they take place, may be allocated to the items that need it to deal with the effects of the pandemic.

For the Consistory, sensitivity to the environment is also important, which is why it is going to allocate 20,000 euros – twice as much as last year – to environmental policies to conserve the natural bases of the town. The mayor of the town, Antonio Bernabeu, has stressed the importance of this matter and has assured that “during this legislature we will allocate the necessary resources to advance in the environmental and energy sustainability of Castalla”. The mayor highlighted the recent installation of the first electric vehicle charging points, which can encourage tourism for this type of user. In this line, the area of Parks and Gardens has experienced a significant increase of 20,000 euros and will add 282,276.79 euros. The mayor has reinforced the intention of the government team to increase the number of green areas in Castalla, improve the existing ones and improve the accessibility of the pavements.

The Corporation is also continuing with its policy of modernising and improving computer systems and municipal technology. To this end, the mayor indicated, “10,000 euros have been earmarked for various improvements that allow us to make progress in our internal work, optimise the service we provide and improve the quality and speed of the services we offer”.

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