But according to the Comptrollor’s Office (Contraloría General de la Republica), they do have money, to the tune of ¢45 billion colones in 2014. That’s over US$85 million dollars, if you’re keeping score at home.
This is money that the cities received for projects they intended to execute, and did not. The ¢45 billion is the cumulative total of unspent money at year’s end. In 2014 cites received 60 billion colones from the Finance Ministry, and failed to use 40% of that money, or ¢24 billion colones.
Cities get money from the fuel tax to spend on local roads. They also have money to fund community projects from special taxes collected, for example a tax on banana exports is a major source of these funds. Finally, cities have specific projects that the Finance Ministry has approved and set aside funds for.
The Comptroller blames the cities for the inefficient use of resources, while the National Association of Mayorships claims that they are more efficient than the national government, and that since the government generates the funds in November and December, that leaves the cities with no time to plan and execute projects before the end of the year — causing the apparent surplus.
Not to worry, more than likely the Legislative Assembly will commission an expensive study by consultants on the issue, to determine who is right and also to make sure that they won’t be accused of not spending their budget …
Article by iNews.co.cr, with editing by the Q