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Yunlin County to face fund shortage in October

2015/07/15 18:33:03

Yunlin Magistrate Lee Chin-yung

Taipei, July 15 (CNA) Yunlin County officials said Wednesday that the county will face a funding shortfall of about NT$1 billion (US$32.26 million) in October, but vowed to cut spending and seek new funds by auctioning off land.

The officials said that since the county will not receive any tax revenue until November, when the county is expected to rake in land value tax revenue, it expects the fund shortage in October.

The NT$1 billion-worth of funds will be needed to pay the salaries of local government staffers, public work projects and social welfare projects, according to the officials.

Hung Jen-sheng (洪仁聲), head of the county's Department of Finance, said that Yunlin had NT$30.75 billion in total debt as of the end of June.

Hung said the figure translates into about NT$34,000 in debt on average shouldered by each of the county's residents.

"The large debt means that Yunlin County has no room to borrow more under the current budget regulations. But the county is determined to cut spending and look for new revenue sources to take on its financial difficulties," Hung said.

Hung said that Yunlin Magistrate Lee Chin-yung (李進勇) has pledged to cut his monthly special budget of NT$66,000, while the government will slash certain spending for public affairs and cut various subsidies.

She said the county government is planning to auction off land in a bid to raise its income to get it through the financial difficulties.

"Since the beginning of this year, the Yunlin county government has sensed the urgency of reining in its spending and raising income under the current large debt burden. We are working on a package to deal with the problems," Hung said.

She said that the county government will release details of a package soon on how to tackle the debt situation.

"We have faith that we will be able to overcome the financial difficulties so it is unlikely that Yunlin will seek financial assistance from the central government as Miaoli County has done," Hung said.

The Miaoli county government has asked for a bailout from the central bank as the county is NT$64.8 billion in debt, and needs to spend NT$600 million per month in salaries for staff and an additional NT$600 million in pensions in July alone.

(By Yeh Tzu-kang and Frances Huang)
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