Fri, Aug 10, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Mayor Hau pledges not to share taxes with Taipei County

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday objected to President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) call for Taipei City to make its finances public, adding that the city government would not share any surplus in its tax redistribution fund with Taipei County.

"The Taipei City Government's financial record is always clear. The city's budget keeps shrinking under the Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] government," Hau said yesterday at a press conference at Taipei City Hall.

Hau said the city government opposed the central government's plan for Taipei and Kaohsiung cities to share their annual budgets with Taipei County. He also condemned Chen, a former Taipei mayor, for ignoring the needs of Taipei residents and cutting the city's budget.

Hau made the remarks in response to Chen's call on Wednesday for the city to make public an account of its tax surplus after it refused to share its tax redistribution fund with Taipei County, which is to be upgraded to the status of a special municipality.

Hau said that the city's tax redistribution fund had been more than NT$170 billion (US$5 billion) under Chen's municipal administration, adding that the DPP government had cut NT$18 billion from the budget each year, reducing the city's annual budget to approximately NT$130 billion. The city is NT$170 billion in debt, he said.

"Each resident of Taipei is shouldering a debt of NT$176,000 each year as a result of the budget shortfall and it's unfair," Hau said.

Hau said the city had given 75 percent of its tax revenue to the government, adding that the government should not cut the city's tax redistribution fund, which he said would worsen its financial situation.

"The city government will not make any concessions on the budget issue and we expect all of Taipei's residents to stand by our side and fight with us," he said.

The Executive Yuan plans to allot part of the Taipei and Kaohsiung city budgets to Taipei County, but Hau and Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) have joined forces to fight the plan.

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