Coronavirus pushing municipalities further into financial trouble: report

The coronavirus and measures to curb its spread are pushing Dutch municipalities into or further into financial problems A third of municipalities are unable to make a balanced budget for 2020, NRC reported after looking at municipalities' finances, the supervision letters from the provinces, and speaking to 10 municipalities about their financial situation.

The measures in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus mean that municipalities are missing out on millions of euros in parking revenues, tourist taxes, and taxes on entrepreneurs. The municipalities mainly face shortages in youth care, social assistance, and the Social Support Act (WMO), which support elderly people to live at home for longer.

Nine municipalities won't be able to make their budgets balance until 2023 at least, according to the newspaper. These include Middelburg, Vlissingen, The Hague, and Assen. The municipality of Middelburg missed out on some 250 thousand euros in parking revenues in the first three weeks of the coronavirus crisis alone, according to the newspaper.

The provincial administrators who supervise municipalities' finances have long been worried about the municipalities' budgets, according to the newspaper. Last week the Ministries of Home Affairs and Finance came to an agreement with the Dutch municipalities that the shortfalls caused by the coronavirus measures will be compensated. But no agreements were made about the structural shortfalls, the newspaper wrote.