The first edition of the Index of Economic Freedom of Spanish Cities (ILECE), prepared by the Foundation for the Advancement of Freedom, concludes that the situation for the 30 most populous Spanish cities is “highly improvable” and that the municipal fiscal pressure is excessive. In the Valencian case, Alicante and Elche pass, with a score higher than 50 points – in fact Alicante is the second in Spain behind Almería -, while València suspends, and is only above Jerez de la Frontera and Granada .
Eleven of the 30 cities analyzed suspend -with less than 50 points out of the 100 available-, according to the index, prepared to measure and compare the degree of “economic freedom” of the main cities taking into account what depends on the economic activity of the Municipal administration.
Thus, it tries to measure whether the municipalities favor or disadvantage the economic freedom of the city, although he recalls that the situation of each one of them “depends to a large extent on the action of the central, autonomous and European administrations, which are not taken into account. counts in the studio. “
The Almería index tops, with 62.51 points out of 100, followed by Alicante (61.42), A Coruña (58.86), Vigo (59.23), Santa Cruz de Tenerife (58.86), Elche ( 57.15), Oviedo (56.8), Pamplona (56.6), Córdoba (55.56), Sabadell (54.77), Bilbao (53.3), Gijón (53.15), Málaga (52 , 67), Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (52.46), Terrassa (51.81), Vitoria (51.51), Badalona (51.17), Cartagena (50.71) and Móstoles (50.37).
They do not achieve half of the points Murcia (49.92), Zaragoza (49.42), Madrid (49.29), Valladolid (49.29), L’Hospitalet de Llobregat (48.16), Palma de Mallorca ( 48.15), Seville (46.02), Barcelona (45.49), Valencia (44.01), Jerez de la Frontera (40.57) and Granada (39.44).
The three Valencian cities examined obtained disparate results. Thus, Alicante gets 61.42 points out of 100, something that the report considers “moderate freedom”.
Since the foundation, they recommend the Alicante town hall “must maintain its good performance in terms of the total cost of the city council for its inhabitants, along with a relatively low level of municipal debt.” “A pending subject is the IBI tax rate, which is not competitive. It would also be convenient to contain the hiring of personnel,” the report states.
In the case of Elche, the sixth city in the ranking, the foundation understands that “the locality needs above all to reduce the tax rate of the Real Estate Tax”. With 57.15 points, the ilicitana city is sixth in the state ranking.
As for Valencia, it is ranked 28 out of 30, with 44.01 points. For the foundation, the capital of Turia presents “a highly improvable level of indebtedness”. They also point out that “the City Council spends too much on subsidies” and that it should “outsource through concessions the main services that citizens receive, and, on the other hand, reduce their late payment of suppliers.” “On the other hand, the rate of IBI applied is another negative point and could be substantially reduced,” they add.
The report concludes that the size of cities influences their economic freedom, since “there is a strong tendency for larger cities to perform poorly on this index”, and also points out that capitalization can be detrimental, since Eight of the eleven cities that suspend are autonomous capitals.
The index takes into account aspects such as the municipal financial year -which evaluates elements such as the Budget and indebtedness and weighs 30% of the score-; the size of the City Council’s staff (20%); municipal economic interventionism (20%), and the city’s fiscal pressure (30%).