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Cabinet wants more money from municipalities

THE CURRENT government may soon find itself in conflict with municipal governments if Prime Minister Robert Fico's plan to amend tax legislation goes through.

At the moment, most of the income tax paid by individuals goes into the budgets of municipal governments, but the Finance Ministry wants to divert more of the money into the state budget, the Hospodárske noviny daily wrote.

"We are analysing the incomes of municipal governments, and we find they are growing exceptionally quickly. We might change the percentage [of income tax revenue that goes into the state budget]," said Finance Ministry spokesman Miroslav Šmál.

However, Michal Sýkora, the chairman of the Association of Towns and Villages, said that "our revenue this year is lower than it was last year."

Former Finance Minister Ivan Mikloš, now an MP for the opposition Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), said that changing the financing of municipal governments was a bandaid solution to the government's shortage of finances.

"It's a desperate effort to scrape together the money needed to fulfill the government's pre-election promises," he said.

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