Bjelovar’s 2024 budget is set at €89 million, a significant increase of almost 50% from the previous year. The mayor, Dario Hrebak, attributes this increase to 20 capital projects financed through European funds. These projects include the restoration of six earthquake-damaged buildings, energy renovation of eight buildings, construction of three new kindergartens, the beginning of a new elementary school, equipment of the business zone in Veliki Korenovo, and continued investment in geothermal wells.
Hrebak emphasized that this will be the largest budget in Bjelovar’s history and is both realistic and achievable. Notably, the budget also includes the lowest income tax in Croatia at 18%, making Bjelovar the largest Croatian city with the lowest income tax rate.
The mayor expects that families in Bjelovar will have an additional average salary on an annual basis. He also pointed out that despite reducing and eventually abolishing the surtax, the city’s coffers remain well filled. Additionally, Hrebak stated that the city earned 25% more in the same month compared to the previous year.
Furthermore, Hrebak assured that there will be no increase in communal fees and that kindergarten costs will remain among the lowest in Croatia. The budget conference received support from coalition partners ABB Association’s Zdenka Henc, HSS’s Borislav Kozić, independent councilor Dražen Medved and HDZ’s Nenad Martinovski was unable to attend due to official duties.