Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The deficit mechanism of the Hungarian municipalities

Vasvári, Tamás (2012): The deficit mechanism of the Hungarian municipalities. Published in: Crisis Aftermath: Economic policy changes in the EU and its Member States, Conference Proceedings, Szeged, University of Szeged , Vol. ISBN 9, (2012): pp. 283-305.

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The management of the Hungarian municipal sector has received special attention since the crisis in 2008 and interest in the sector increased further due to the changes in legislation in 2011. A great number of economy experts and speakers on behalf of the government or the municipalities provided further details on prevailing issues in the municipal sector, however, their assessment of the severity of these issues varied greatly. By describing the logical framework of the deficit mechanism this study aims to evaluate the processes behind the situation of today in order to forecast the situation of tomorrow as regards the management of municipalities. According to the mechanism, if the deficit of a municipal budget (the operating, investment, financing budget or reserves) can only be eliminated by the upward adjustment of financing revenues, it will lead, in the end to increasing municipal indebtedness. Increasing indebtedness, as a rule, results in increasing debt service. Although these expenditures are part of the financing budget, in practice they are usually financed from other budgets. Therefore, increasing debt service can be a potential cause of reorganization in operation, the postponement of investments, an increasing asset disposal activity, refinancing with new borrowings or a drop in reserves. In addition to these, the phenomenon called the crowding out effect of debt service may at the same time improve the GFS balance of municipalities.

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