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Papers: Helsinki reports budget surplus, other major cities in the red

Nine of the municipal respondents said that local government finances had deteriorated this year.

Ihmisiä rullaportaissa ostoskeskuksessa.
Last year Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Lahti and Jyväskylä ended the year with positive financial results. Image: Henrietta Hassinen / Yle

Of Finland’s 12 major cities, only Helsinki will record a healthy bottom line this year. In a survey conducted by the Uutissuomalainen news consortium, officials from the 11 other local government respondents said that municipal finances will be in the red.

Helsinki has projected that it will have a budget surplus of 238 million euros this year. Other municipalities surveyed said they expect deficits ranging from 10 to 60 million euros.

Nine local government officials said that their city’s finances had worsened significantly during the course of the year.

Last year, major cities such as Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Lahti and Jyväskylä ended the year with positive financial results.

According to Uutissuomalainen, while the outlook for next year appears to be somewhat more optimistic than this year, more than half of the municipalities polled are already projecting a budget deficit for next year.

Most respondents cited lower tax revenues as the reason for their city’s weakened financial position.

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