Bjelovar’s budget for 2024 amounts to 89 million euros, almost 50 percent higher than this year’s budget. Mayor Dario Hrebak reported that the main reason for the large increase is 20 capital projects that are being financed mostly through European money. These projects include the complete restoration of six buildings damaged in an earthquake, energy renovation of eight buildings, construction of three new kindergartens, start of construction of a new elementary school, equipping the business zone in Veliki Korenovo, and continued investment in geothermal wells.
Hrebak emphasized that this will be the largest budget in the history of the city of Bjelovar, but that it is realistic and achievable. The budget also includes the lowest income tax in the country at 18, or 28 percent, making Bjelovar the largest Croatian city with the lowest income tax rate in the state. The mayor expects that the families in Bjelovar will have one more average salary on an annual basis due to these developments.
Additionally, Hrebak noted that the city coffers are well filled, despite the reduction and eventual abolition of the surtax. The city earned 25 percent more in the same month compared to the previous year, an extremely commendable achievement. Furthermore, there will be no increase in the prices of communal fees, and the price of kindergartens in Bjelovar will remain among the lowest in Croatia.
The budget conference was supported by the HSLS coalition partners, ABB Association’s Zdenka Henc, HSS’s Borislav Kozić, and independent councilor Dražen Medved. Nenad Martinovski from the HDZ was not present due to official duties.