State parliament session – tax is now a done deal

State parliament session – tax is now a done deal

Created on March 02, 2023 | 3:30 p.m

Reading time: 4 mins

State parliament session March 2, 2023

Photo: Wolfgang Millendorfer

In the state parliament, the SPÖ and the Greens decided today to amend the Spatial Planning Act, including the construction of shopping centers in the town center and the building land mobilization tax. State Councilor Heinrich Dorner expects up to 3,000 taxpayers. ÖVP and FPÖ criticized the regulations. Further legislative changes are on the agenda.

In the case of shopping centers and supermarkets, the main aim is to slow down soil sealing by promoting existing plots of land in the center of the community as locations. The small grocers are exempt from the restrictions, explained Dorner. The Greens agreed. Club chairwoman Regina Petrik was happy about “a correct step against the proliferation of shopping centers on the outskirts”. She also sees it positively that in future shops will not only have to be accessible by car, but also on foot and by bicycle.

The ÖVP and FPÖ, on the other hand, had a different opinion. You see the local supply endangered by the change in the law. The regulations are largely “unrealistic”, said FPÖ member of parliament Ilse Benkö. ÖVP club chairman Markus Ulram was bothered by the requirements for the locations where shopping centers are to be built in the future. “These areas do not exist,” he emphasized. Landesrat Dorner rejected this. Security of supply is guaranteed, especially since Burgenland currently has the highest density of shopping centers in Austria.

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Dorner also defended the building land mobilization tax and referred to the information tour that started on Monday. According to him, around 24,000 properties would be subject to this tax, 18,000 of which have a property owner. He assumes that there will eventually be 2,500 to 3,000 taxpayers, taking the exceptions into account. “Yes, that’s a small part,” he admitted. “But if this leads to a mobilization and one or two plots of land become free in every community, I think we have done a good deed because the young families benefit.”

ÖVP and FPÖ saw their criticism confirmed. The levy will “mobilize nothing,” said Ulram. FPÖ state party chairman Alexander Petschnig spoke of an “immense effort” for ultimately a few cases: “The whole fuss is made to mobilize a plot of land per community, if that happens at all.”

Before the start of the session, Verena Dunst, President of the State Parliament, and Astrid Eisenkopf, Deputy Governor, drew attention to International Women’s Day with a distribution campaign. As a little surprise, there were matching breakfast croissants; according to the house rules, however, these were not allowed to be eaten in the hall during the session.

The youth promotion law, which had previously met with severe criticism from the opposition and youth organizations, was also passed at the meeting. They see the self-determination of the state youth forum at risk, which should no longer choose its own chairmanship in the future. Initially, the youth department of the state was to take over the chairmanship, but in the meantime the independent children’s and young people’s advocate has been used. State Councilor Daniela Winkler defended the innovations, which would, among other things, bring clearer funding regulations and enable faster admission of members.

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Also on the agenda are the Social Services Act, which paves the way for the new care model with 71 care bases, as well as the first supplementary estimate for this year. It contains an additional 53.6 million euros for measures against inflation, such as the heat price cap, the freeze on rents and the waiver of annuity jumps in housing subsidies.



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