Based on the numbers, Debrecen is really the second capital of the country

Economy Local News

Debrecen plays in a completely different league among major domestic cities, with a total budget balance sheet of HUF 230 billion this year. The budget of the municipality, dubbed the country’s second capital, will therefore increasingly be comparable only to the budget of Budapest. There is no other municipality that would spend as much on developments and investments in 2024 as the city of Cívisváros – writes

“Final touches on the 2024 budget draft. It will be strong!” – Mayor László Papp wrote on his Facebook page during the preparation of Debrecen’s budget at the beginning of February. The statement of the city manager is not at all exaggerated based on the fact that in 2024, the total balance sheet of the budget of the 200,000-county city will reach HUF 230 billion, which is a 27 percent increase in one year.

Mayor of Debrecen: this year’s city budget is focused on development

Although it is followed by Szeged and Miskolc in terms of population, none of them come close to Cívisváros with figures of 85.5 and 85.8 billion. Based on the balance sheet totals, Székesfehévár is the closest, but this year’s budget is 90 billion lower than last year’s 100 billion.

The designation of the country’s second capital also holds its place in terms of the size of the budget: after Budapest’s budget of 448 billion, Debrecen’s is the second largest in the country, and it seems very likely that this position will continue to strengthen soon.

During his visit to Hajdúság in September last year, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó spoke about the fact that Debrecen can grow into the second center in Hungary with the current and future investments, which is why the government actively supports the infrastructural developments in the city. And this is reflected in this year’s budget.

Debrecen allocates almost one hundred billion for investments

While Budapest spends undeservedly little on investments and developments (only 35 billion in 2024), which can be seen in the continuous destruction of infrastructure, the county seat spends three times that amount, 99 billion, even if a significant part of this is financed by the state. This year, the local government will continue to build the infrastructure of the southern and northwestern economic zones, which are home to major investments, with double the amount of last year (50 billion), the former can develop from HUF 14.2 billion, the latter from HUF 11.3 billion. According to deputy mayor Lajos Barcsa, the development of the north-western economic zone can practically be completed this year, while the majority of the work in the south is just starting. But water utility development is also included in this year’s budget, this one item takes more than half of the investment expenses, HUF 55 billion, from which the settlement solves the wastewater drainage of the southern economic zone, which also houses CATL‘s battery factory.

Lajos Barcsa reported on the details of Debrecen’s 2024 budget draft concerning the deputy mayor’s areas

The settlement’s HIPA income tripled in 10 years

At the same time, it can almost be assumed that if CATL or the BMW factory goes into production, it can bring a huge increase in income to the city’s coffers, even though you can’t complain now. According to Lajos Barcsa’s presentation, in 2014 the rate of business tax was only HUF 10 billion, but now, ten tax years later, it has already risen to HUF 28 billion. This year, this will increase even more, as the 2024 budget is planned with HUF 35 billion from taxes.

the city’s economy has tripled in the past ten years

Lajos Barcsa pointed out. At the same time, the municipality has to pay more and more into the state coffers in the form of solidarity contribution tax, already HUF 8 billion in 2024, but much more than this amount comes from the state: HUF 21.4 billion normative and HUF 58.3 billion in investment support.

These transport development projects will be implemented this year

The city also implements transport development projects worth more than HUF 9 billion, mostly from state funds. Such a

  • the development of the intersection of Highway 33 – Szabó Lőrinc utca – Csigekert utca,
  • connecting Highway 33 and Highway 354 with a separate level interchange on Highway 354,
  • expansion of Highway 471 to 2×2 lanes,
  • the development of the intersection of Ótemető utca – Rakovszky utca – Árpád tér,
  • the development of the intersection of Szoboszlói út – Külsővásártér and main road 48 – Budai Nagy Antal utca – Hétvezér utca. Continuing this line, the accessibility of the city is strengthened by the eastern bypass, the Debrecen-Józsa north relief road (between the M35 motorway and the 35 highway), the 2×2 section between the Debrecen-Józsa 35 and the 354 highway development to one lane, the 2×2 linearization of Highway 4 on the section between Hajdúszoboszló and Debrecen, and the four-laning of the section of highway 4 between Debrecen and Nyíregyháza.

Employment is already higher in the county seat of Hajdúság

If not in everything, there is an indicator in which Debrecen, which is striving for the title of the country’s second capital, is already ahead of Budapest, the proportion of employed people is already higher than in the capital or cities with county status. Based on the census data provided by the KSH, the employment rate in Cívisváros is 56.1 percent, while the average in Budapest is 54 percent, and 50 percent in cities with county status.

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