Fiscal economy potentials of a county structure reform in Saxony-Anhalt
In view of the foreseeable demographic and finance-political developments the public house holds of Eastern Germany are under considerable strain to consolidate. This applies particularly to Saxony-Anhalt and there especially to local authorities. In 2003 the municipal expenses level (running material expenses and personnel expenses) of counties and communities in Saxony-Anhalt amounted 1,015 Euro per inhabitant and was clearly higher than the other East German states. Beyond the means of economisation through the efficient application of public funds, considerations are given to the potentials of country structure reforms. In the last legislative period, the CDU/FDP government already established the amalgamation of 24 counties to eleven new ones with the bill of 11.11.2005. The SPD - as an oppositional party at that time - submitted a proposal for an even further-reaching structural change with a concentration to five counties. This article comprises an estimation of the fiscal economisation potentials of both versions. In the first step, the (long term accessible) county expense levels of Saxony-Anhalt within the scope of the existing structure of a county is determined with the help of a Benchmarkanalysis. These results are then compared with expected expense levels of a reformed county structure which leads to the saving effect of the respective county reform. In the result of the analysis it appears that the suggestion of the SPD to the county structure reform allows to expect clearly higher saving effects than the suggestion of the former CDU/FDP government, a strong meaning of the already enforced community administrative reform is imputable.