The City’s finances

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Objective of the assessment

The assessment examined the state of the finances of the City of Helsinki and Helsinki Group in 2019 and the development of the finances compared to previous years. The assessment also looked at whether the objective set in the City Strategy to limit the increase in operating expenditure and the objective related to financing investments were achieved.

Conclusions

The City’s finances have remained strong. The amount of long-term debt has been successfully reduced in the parent City for several years, even though the City’s investment expenses have increased. The target increase in expenditure that was set out in the strategy was clearly exceeded: the increase in expenditure was not supposed to exceed 2.5 per cent, but the actual growth was as great as 4.7 per cent. The annual contribution margin and revenue from land sales combined were sufficient to cover the investments, and the loan portfolio per capita has decreased.

Stable finances serve as a buffer for the consequences of the state of emergency caused by the coronavirus in the City’s services in 2020. In addition to increasing expenditure, the pandemic also affects municipal and corporate tax revenues.

The Audit Committee concludes that

the City Board must

  • prepare for an increase in expenditure and a decrease in tax revenue due to the state of emergency caused by COVID-19.

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In Assessment Report: