Provinces have more and more money to spare

30/05/2006 14:00

The surplus on the provinces’ annual accounts amounted to  more than 215 million euro in 2004. This is nearly double the surplus on the previous year’s accounts and the highest amount in the period 1999–2004. Water boards, on the other hand, have a deficit on their accounts every year.

Net income and expenditure

Government contribution increases substantially

Provincial revenues rose by 540 million euro in 2004, to 4.9 billion euro. Nearly 20 percent of this increase is accounted for by higher tax revenues. Motor vehicle tax yielded 94 million euro more, for example. In addition increasing government contributions have also pushed up revenues substantially. These contributions brought in 70 percent more revenues for the provinces (357 million euro).

Changes in expenditure by provinces 2003–2004

Part of surplus set aside

Government contributions to provincial coffers nearly all consist of funds in aid of financing infrastructure projects and measures to improve road safety. As these contributions are not always spent immediately but set aside for later, they add to the surplus at the end of the year. 

Changes in expenditure by water boards 2003–2004


Water boards have a deficit of 225 million

The district water boards had a combined deficit of 225 million euro on their annual accounts in 2004. The deficit was slightly smaller than twelve months previously. The water boards spent 3.0 billion euro in 2004. Care for water quality resulted in higher spending. This spending category rose substantially in 2004, because of investment in a waste water treatment plant in the western port area of Amsterdam.

Increase in revenues of water boards, 2003–2004

Revenues from water taxes 1.9 billion euro

To finance their operations, the district water boards mainly depend on own income such as tax revenues, incidental sales and interest. More than half of the extra revenues in 2004 (166 million euro) was accounted for by an increase in water-related taxes. Levies on water pollution and the community charges each yielded 42 million euro more. These pushed revenues from total water-related taxes to 1.9 billion euro.

Lia Siebeling