Sofia Municipal Council Cancels Scandalous Zoning

Properties | March 17, 2011, Thursday // 14:31|  views

The mayor of Sofia, Yordanka Fandakova, at the Thursday's meeting of the Sofia Municipal Council. Photo by BGNES

The Sofia Municipal Council has canceled its decision for altering the Bulgarian capital's zoning, which triggered an outrage stirred by the recent increase of property taxes.

The decision for the cancellation of the zoning was agreed unanimously on Thursday. It was also decided that Sofia residents, who have already paid their property taxes, can receive a refund by the local tax office or the amount can be deducted from future payments.

As a result of the scandal, the Deputy Mayor of the Sofia City Hall, Mincho Gerdzhikov, submitted his resignation on Sunday.

However, during the one-hour debate on ThursdAY, the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) demanded the resignation of Sofia mayor Yordanka Fandakova.

"The universal soap Minko Gerdzhikov cannot be used in every situation. Fandakova has stated to develop the syndrome of PM Boyko Borisov, who always blames someone else," said Georgi Kadiev, Municipal Counselor from BSP, and accused the Sofia mayor of becoming an "avatar" of Borisov.

Kadiev pointed out that when the decision for the capital's zoning was taken on December 16, 2010, Fandakova was missing, while on Thursday the deputy mayor was missing.

"You cannot keep Gerdzhikov as a stray dog in his cabinet. During the discussion of Sofia's zoning in December, he did not say a word," he said.

According to Kadiev, the now former deputy mayor of Sofia was only an executor and the damage for the municipality from returning to the old zoning would cost about BGN 7.5 M.

He asked whether the additional amount would cause an actualization of the budget and whether there is a plea for the abolition of the decision for the new zoning, since according to the Local Taxes Act amendments could be made until January 31 of the respective year.

"The decision of the Sofia Municipal Council cannot be stopped, it has to be canceled," said Dimitar Bachvarov, chair of the municipal group of the right-wing Democrats for Strong Bulgaria (DSB).

The scandal began when taxes for many of Sofia's residents went up without warning after the capital's zoning was altered.

Fandakova has advised people in the problematic zones to verify the exact amount of their 2011 tax and if the difference with 2010 is not drastic, to pay it.

She has also stated that property taxes in Sofia should stay at last year's level, with the exception of the "Banishora" district which had been placed in the wrong zone ten years ago.

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Tags: Yordanka Fandakova, sofia, mayor, Minko Gerdzhikov, Deputy Mayor, Sofia Municipal Council, BSP, DSB, zoning, capital, resignation, property tax, scandal


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