News Tax waste in Berlin: Is that art or can it go away?

Wednesday, 30.09.15 , written by Juliane Wellisch With the new Black Book of Tax Waste, the Taxpayers’ Association is again showing particularly serious examples of public prissy. At the same time, funds are unnecessarily spent on various projects in each federal state. In Berlin, the waste in t 

Schwarzbuch Steuerverschwendung: In der Hauptstadt wird geprasst

Schwarzbuch: Tax Waste Also in the Capital

The Taxpayers’ Association published the current Black Book “Public Waste 2015” on Wednesday. In each case, examples of the senseless waste of taxpayers’ money are documented from each federal state, for example through unexpected additional costs in public construction projects or as a result of mismanagement . In addition to these million graves, the Black Book also lists cases of unnecessary expenditure in the four- or five-digit euro area. Finally, these also tear in the crowd holes in the budgetary funds of countries and municipalities.

Berlin: No end to the tax waste despite high debts

Particularly painful for citizens are the examples of tax wastage when money is lacking elsewhere. Berlin, for example, is heavily in debt. Currently, the national debt per citizen of Berlin is almost 16,700 euros . At the same time, the chaos surrounding the major airport BER is making headlines again these days. Anyone living in Berlin can feel for themselves what happens when money is wasted: the administration has practically collapsed . Citizens who need a new passport or want to re-register often have to wait more than eight weeks for an appointment with the Bürgeramt.

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“Many expendable expenses are politically wanted”

Alexander Kraus, Chairman of the Berlin Taxpayers’ Association, emphasizes that “many expendable expenses (against every reason) are politically intentional and enforced against all criticism .” “These include light installations for years, for example,” explains Kraus to finanzen.de. “Of four light installations from 2012 (criticized in the Black Book 2012) have already destroyed two pieces. At the time, these had to be set up as part of a road construction project because of the »special significance of the demand for art and artists in Berlin«. The first three light installations »Perlen (chain) aus Licht« in the West-City are – as predicted in SB 2013 – become more expensive. After the cost overrun at the first in the Bleibtreustraße (SB 2014) but one has still continued. “

Originally estimated to be 130,000 euros for this light installation alone, in the end costs of 200,000 euros were incurred. Other projects in Berlin are also consuming large sums. Currently, for example, the Museum Island is being renovated, and the James Simon Gallery is being built for the reception of visitors. Meanwhile, the cost estimates for the gallery have almost doubled from 71 million euros to currently 134 million euros due to construction cost increases and delays.

Kraus points out that this money is actually needed elsewhere in the capital. So “numerous bridges are in need of renovation. In this respect, there must first of all be the realization that scarce resources are put into urgent tasks and priorities are set. “

Citizens can report tax losses

The tax wastage can only be stopped if it is made known to the public . Although Kraus declares that every citizen can file an application for access to the file with the respective administration in case of suspicion of waste. However, most people shy away from the hassle and the cost risk, if the insight has to be filed. Therefore, the Bundestag provides taxpayers with the opportunity to report tax wastage to its citizens. “The messages come over the whole year, but of course strengthened after publication of the black book,” says Kraus.

Less waste means more service to citizens

The Taxpayers’ League is not only concerned with the sums of money that have been unnecessarily plowed into the various projects . “For example, it becomes clear from the criticized light installations of the” string of pearls of light “that every dispensable output always causes consequential costs and the administration binds,” explains Kraus. “So was the light installation under the Hardenberg Bridge at the zoo last week out of service, although this was only opened in February 2015. At the same time, the offices seem to have no capacity to engage in the planning of construction projects or provide services to the citizen. “

If less resources are invested in questionable construction projects or projects, this not only benefits the budget of the respective state or municipality. Rather, the administration is also relieved . For the Berliners at least, this would be a blessing.