The Ministry of the Interior on Friday said it opposes establishing Changhua County as a special municipality, in part due to the region’s declining population.
In a statement issued after a committee review meeting, the ministry said it would advise the Cabinet against changing Changhua County into a special municipality because the population, as of last month, had fallen below the 1.25 million threshold required to be eligible for the change.
The county government could also improve its efforts to develop the region, it said without elaborating.
Under Article 4 of the Local Government Act (地方制度法), only a region with a population of 1.25 million people or more that also has “special requirements in their political, economic, cultural and metropolitan developments may establish special municipalities.”
Any proposal to change the county’s special municipality status must be reviewed by the ministry, which would then submit its recommendation to the Cabinet for final approval.
The review committee, headed by Minister of the Interior Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇), comprised senior officials from different government agencies, as well as academics and experts, the statement said.
There are six special municipalities in the nation — Taipei, New Taipei City, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung — which account for nearly 70 percent of Taiwan’s 23.5 million population, government data showed.
Special municipalities are entitled to a larger share of budgets drawn from the central government’s tax revenues when compared with counties and county-level cities.
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