«More autonomy for Municipalities to manage public resources»

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Un 2024 “better than previous years”, but the Municipalities would need “greater autonomy, not so much to have more taxes, but to manage our resources more flexibly”. For Emmanuel Conte, budget councilor of the Municipality of Milan, Palazzo Marino is working on the complicated challenge of giving a structural balance to the municipal budget, but he believes that there are problems on the horizon that can only be solved with a “broader” vision , or with national aid.

Councilor, did you breathe a sigh of relief this year with the 2024 financial year closed with less effort?
Let’s say that we intervened on a series of pillars that helped us, including the remodulation of the debt which allowed us to free up resources in the current part for 50 million.

You have increased the rates though.
We increased the tourist tax for example, but it was a possible remodulation at a national level, which allows cities to reach 5 euros. In some cities it can even reach 10 euros, for us it is not possible, and we are asking to be given this possibility because it is now anachronistic. And increasing the tourist tax for those who go to a 5-star hotel certainly does not inhibit tourism, but rather it is a fair system of redistribution. Then we increased the value of the occupation of public land, which had not been touched since 2010, not even by adjusting it for inflation. They seem fair measures to us.

The central issue of the municipal budget is public transport, which weighs heavily. How do you keep it all together, savings and more services?
In the meantime, let’s remember the figures, which help us understand where the problem lies: the service is worth 1 billion, of which 388 million is paid for by tickets and 260 million by the national transport fund. The rest is covered by general taxation. And in 2023 we have chosen not to adjust for inflation and not to increase the ticket.

You had already done it in 2022, and not without controversy. It’s not already high?
PWe also had to adapt in 2023, as the Region allowed us and asked, and we didn’t do it. And in the meantime we have opened a new metro, line 4, we are the only city in Europe to have done so. But this also has a cost. In 2024 the fee costs 62 million; in 2025 it will cost 100 million.

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