Few adjustments to the new intermunicipal equalization

Few adjustments to the new intermunicipal equalization
Few adjustments to the new intermunicipal equalization

The new Vaudois intercommunal equalization (NPIV) is almost under control. The Grand Council barely touched the initial project on Tuesday during its examination in the first debate.

Unsurprisingly, the project concocted by the Council of State and the municipal umbrella organizations generally convinced the deputies, at least those of the right-wing majority. On the left, however, voices were raised to highlight “insufficiency” in terms of inter-municipal solidarity, with some describing this NPIV as a “deal between rich municipalities”.

Several left-wing deputies took to the front, starting with the two authors of a minority report in committee, Vincent Keller (Together on the Left – POP) and Didier Lohri (Vert-es). The first notably campaigned for “complete solidarity” with compensation for differences in resources between municipalities up to 100%, compared to 80% until now.

His amendment was rejected, as was that of Mr. Lohri, who wanted to increase this rate to 82.5%. Supporting tables, the environmentalist deputy defended several other amendments, again in order to “try to modify the solidarity factors a little”, he argued, without further success.

“Subtle balances”

On this rate of 80%, the State Councilor in charge of the file, Christelle Luisier, assured that it was already “one of the highest” in the country and that it suited “a very large majority” of Vaudois municipalities. She noted that equalization aimed to “attenuate” the differences between municipalities, and not “to put them all at the same level.” Municipal autonomy is at stake, she said.

On several occasions, Minister PLR has also warned against excessively significant changes to the NPIV. This is based “on subtle balances” on which “institutional peace” between the canton and the communes depends, she said.

Ms. Luisier was heard by a majority of the members of the Grand Council and the other amendments from the left were refused, sparking the resignation of some. “We clearly understood that not a single comma would be removed by this plenum,” regretted Mr. Keller.

Mountain municipalities

Compared to the initial project, some modifications were nevertheless adopted. An amendment, carried by the majority of the commission, made it possible to adapt the definition of the compensation granted to so-called “mountain” municipalities, due to their altitude and slope.

Rather than the altitude of the center of the municipality, it was decided to calculate the compensation according to the place of residence of the inhabitants. If they live at 730 meters or more, a person must be considered “residing at altitude”, explained the rapporteur of the majority of the commission, Pierre Dessemontet (PS).

The Council of State did not oppose this amendment, which does not modify the general financial balances of the project.

After almost four hours of debate, often very technical, the deputies have not yet completely concluded the first debate. They will have to come back to it at a future session, knowing that a second debate will then still be necessary.

Counter-project to SOS Communes

For the record, the NPIV provides for a new intercommunal equalization, while integrating a new distribution of certain cantonal bills (social and police), sources of recurring tensions between the canton and the municipalities. It also provides for a strengthening of financial rebalancing in favor of municipalities.

The NPIV acts as a counter-project to the popular initiative “SOS Communes”, which demands that the entire social bill be taken over by the canton. The initiators want to wait for the end of the debates at the Grand Council before deciding what to do next. If they were to maintain their text, a popular vote would take place in September.

This article was automatically published. Source: ats

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