Working together for a future marked by wellbeing and sustainability

The City of Tampere 2024 budget is looking to the future with confidence, even though the economic outlook is currently uncertain. The growing city is investing in wellbeing and sustainability. Mayor Kalervo Kummola emphasises that in spite of the economic downturn, the economy must be managed responsibly and cooperation can help overcome even difficult challenges.

Mayor Kalervo Kummola presented his budget proposal on 23 October 2023. The budget will be approved by the City Council on 13 November 23.

The annual margin for Tampere’s budget 2024 is EUR 116.0 million. The incorporation of the Tampere Water will produce a miscellaneous capital gain of approximately EUR 165 million. Without the impact of incorporation of Tampere Water, the result for the financial year would show a deficit of EUR 12.7 million. The budget totals EUR 1.1 billion. 

Tampere’s income tax rate will decrease to 7.60% next year (7.61% in 2023). As regards real estate taxes, Finland’s Government is amending the Real Estate Tax Act so that the general real estate tax rate will be determined separately for land and for buildings. As a result, the general property tax will increase from 1.25% to 1.30% for land. The tax rates for buildings and other real estate will not be increased in Tampere. 

Investment needs to remain high

The city's investment needs are high and will remain high until the end of the decade, but the level of internal financing will be lower than at present. In 2024, the annual margin will be sufficient for self-financing a reasonable share of investments, while the internal financing percentage of investments will be 50 per cent without the sale of Tampere Water.

– The city's 2024 budget is actually weaker than the official calculations show. We must make the best possible assessment of the economic sustainability and appropriateness of future decisions for this moment, emphasises Mayor Kummola. 

Investments in the budget amount to EUR 233.7 million and, in order to finance these investments, the city’s debt will increase by about EUR 80 million next year. 

– The city's debt is at a reasonable level, and the annual margin is sufficient for a moderate self-financing share of investments. Budget revenue includes a gain of EUR 54 million from the sale of assets, which is approximately EUR 25 million more than the normal annual level, Kummola says.

The city's total debt is expected to be EUR 924 million at the end of next year. The debt per resident will be EUR 3,594. 

– The city should not categorically reduce the level of investment so that it does not weaken the construction industry, which is already in difficulty. However, the economic outlook for the next few years is very concerning, which must be taken into account in the planning of the city's operations and finances in coming years, says Mayor Kummola.

According to Group CEO Juha Yli-Rajala, local government finances will in coming years be challenged by e.g., reforms of TE services and the funding system of municipalities. 

– The  social security and property taxation reforms outlined in the Government Programme and the reduction of index increases in central government transfers pose a challenge, but at the same time give an opportunity to review activities, says Yli-Rajala.

According to Yli-Rajala, such events as the rapid change to the interest environment and inflation will also pose difficulties for the finances of subsidiaries. Some companies predict that their turnover will remain relatively stable compared to recent years, some have a positive forecast while others have a negative one.

In 2024, the Group's investments total approximately EUR 276 million. Most of its investments (43%) will go to companies specialised in the development of the urban environment and in energy. Housing communities account for 25% of investments. According to Yli-Rajala, the turnover of energy group Tampereen Energia will decrease significantly, and its operating profit level will not be at its standard level. 

– The most significant investments will be made by Tampereen Energia, wastewater treatment plant Tampereen Seudun Keskuspuhdistamo Oy, rental housing provider Tampereen Vuokratalosäätiöand Tampere Tramway Ltd. 

Investments in education and competence

Tampere, as a growing city, is investing in education and competence services.

– We will work to improve children's and young people's digital skills by offering every 6th grader a laptop. We will invest additional funding in school meals for children and young people. Next year, the number of starting places at general upper secondary schools in the City of Tampere will rise by 90, says Kummola.

Preparations will be made in early childhood education and care and pre-primary education for approximately 300 more children. In particular, the budget takes into account support for children and the increase in the number of both children under the age of 3 and multicultural children and their needs. All the ECEC measures will mean an increase of 77 person-years, including the number of assistants, special needs teachers and Finnish as a foreign language teachers.

In 2024, construction of the Kisapuisto, Messukylä, Eteläpuisto and Ojala day-care centres and the renovation work at the Rahola and Tasanne day-care centres will be completed. 

In basic education, special attention will be paid to the implementation of high-quality basic activities. Group sizes will remain unchanged despite an increase of 90 pupils, as the number of special needs teachers, school counsellors and school coaches will increase by 55 person-years. 

In 2024, renovations work will be completed at the Messukylä and Härmälä schools. Construction of the new Eteläpuisto school will be completed in the spring, and the Ojala School will be opened in the summer. Construction of the Ahvenisjärvi and Lamminpää schools will begin, and the renovation of the Kissanmaa school will begin in the spring. 

Investments in preventive wellbeing work

As a result of the health and social services reform, the city's tasks will increasingly emphasise the preventive promotion of wellbeing and health. The work is carried out in cooperation with different actors and the wellbeing services county. The wellbeing development programme will create agile operating methods and reforming services for solving wellbeing problems among city residents, for example in different themes of mental health and substance abuse problems. 

The wellbeing development programme also includes the implementation of the poverty programme. In its work, the working group on poverty appointed by the Mayor has set out measures to reduce inequality and poverty. Its aim is to ensure that wellbeing in Tampere will be evenly distributed between different population groups and areas.

– In addition to these, exercise and coping in everyday life for older people will be supported with a senior bracelet for people over the age of 65, which will allow access to swimming halls free of charge from Monday to Friday, 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. The wellbeing and health of older people are also promoted, for example, by supporting gatherings, Kummola says.

In 2024, a comprehensive change will be made to the ticket system of the city's swimming halls, in which multi-tickets and special swimming cards will be replaced by one affordable seasonal bracelet. The conditions for physical activity in Tampere will also improve significantly as new facilities are completed in different parts of the city, including artificial ice tracks at Tammela Stadium, Hervanta and Lielahti, adjacent spaces at Kauppi Finnish baseball and skiing stadium. 

In addition, recreational opportunities will be promoted through a sports pilot for children and young people at the Pispala and Kaukajärvi schools in cooperation with Varala. Youth facilities will be opened at Koskikeskus and youth work activities will also be launched in Vuores. The city's personnel will be offered an employment bicycle benefit next year.

In the field of culture, the city is prepared to provide substantial assistance to Tampere Theatre’s renovation project, and after this to the TTT-Theatre’s renovation. Assistance will also be provided for the renovation of the Komediateatteri Theatre. In addition, construction of the Tampere Art Museum’s new building and the Nekala school’s indoor air repairs and transformation into a cultural facility will begin next year.

Openings to internationalisation and vitality

In the coming years, the city must take action to ensure that growth is socially, ecologically and economically sustainable. The city's growth will be boosted by sustainable openings, and significant changes will be promoted through development programmes. The aim of the A Welcoming City programme to be launched next year is to promote the transformation of Tampere into an international city and to ensure the region’s holding power and attractiveness among international experts by improving the operating and competitiveness of business life.

– We have increased efforts to increase RDI funding from the EU to companies in the City of Tampere and Tampere region and to raise our international profile by promoting research cooperation between the city and the higher education community and joint RDI and learning activities and project activities. The activation of new development projects from the EU Structural Funds will be a priority in 2024, Kummola explains.

The budget also includes increases to the infrastructure and administrative charges for tramways to cover the increase in the price of electrical energy and street paving work. Due to the severe cost pressures of public transport, prices will have to be increased by 4%. The service level will remain unchanged, and there will be no major changes to the bus lines or routes.

Tram traffic from Pyynikintori Square to Santalahti began in August. Construction of the second phase towards Lentävänniemi will be completed by the end of 2024.

Key performance indicators for the city extracted from the 2024 budget proposal
Population 31 December 2024 257 000 residents
Income tax rate 7,60 per cent
Personnel 8285 person-years
Annual margin EUR 116,0 million
Revenue EUR 1120 million
Expenditure EUR 1133 million
Result (without extraordinary items) EUR -12,7 million
Total investments (net) EUR 231,3 million
Loan amount per resident EUR 3594

Further information

Kalervo Kummola
Contact via the secretary: tel. 0400 780 866 Mayor
Juha Yli-Rajala
Group Chief Executive Officer
040 743 6356
Jukka Männikkö
Financial Director
050 576 7539
Text: Raija Lindell
Photos: Laura Happo
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