COVID-19 raises Tatarstan Treasury’s spending 1,5 times

The pandemic has changed the budget spending of all Volga regions

COVID-19 raises Tatarstan Treasury’s spending 1,5 times
Photo: Maksim Platonov

Realnoe Vremya has analysed incomes and expenses of regional budgets of Volga Federal Okrug amid the pandemic in 2020. According to the numbers from January to October, the regions allocated more money for health care than usual, which is clear. At the same time, the regions’ incomes reduced, and subsidies from other budgets came to the rescue.

Tatarstan’s incomes thanks to transfers from other budgets

The situation with budget spending in Tatarstan develops accordingly the forecasts conditioned by the coronavirus pandemic. Incomes decreased a bit, while expenses significantly rose. So the reduction in incomes has been 3%, this year, the indicator is 222 billion rubles, it was 228,3bn a year ago.

However, the situation with the reduction in incomes, in fact, is much worse than it might seem at first sight. There was a slight fall (by 3%) due to considerable growth of Non-Refundable Transfers — they increased 2,2 times, from 22,4 to 50,1bn rubles. Methodological explanations of the Russian Federal Statistics Service say that non-refundable transfers include subsidies, subventions and inter-budgetary transfers from other budgets as well as non-refundable transfers from natural persons, legal entities, international organisations and foreign states. So it is external transfers that aren’t linked with the region (and its income).

Tax and non-tax revenues of the budget are doing much worse. The main income of the region — income tax decreased by a quarter — from 130,3 to 97,6bn rubles. The collection of total income taxes also reduced by 6% (to 8,8bn rubles), public property tax did by 42% (to 3,3bn rubles).

The Treasury’s incomes increased only in two big taxes — commodities, works and services (by 12% from 26,2bn to 29,3bn rubles) and property (by 1% from 26,3bn to 26,5bn rubles). Other incomes that increased are a drop in the ocean. For instance, mineral extraction tax rose by 21%, but their total amount is just 349m rubles. Administrative payments and taxes augmented by 44%, but their amount is comparable with the value of not the most expensive car — 1,85 million rubles. Mineral extraction tax is another type of taxes with increased incomes by 7%, but the sum is still very small (the growth was from 47,3m to 50,9m rubles).

Explosive growth of spending on health care and sport

Budget costs, in contrast, significantly increased by 12%, from 212,8m to 237,9m rubles. Education is the most expensive item in Tatarstan’s budget spending. 74,5bn rubles were spent on it from January to October 2020, it is 9% more than a year ago. Of course, some areas whose financing increased more.

National Economy is the second most expensive area. It is budget spending on such sectors as road economy and transport, support for agriculture and forestry, communications and other spheres of the economy. 53,2bn rubles were allocated for these goals. At the same time, it is one of the two items of spending whose expenses decreased, moreover, by 6% (we will note beforehand that the financing of this sphere is an important peculiarity of Tatarstan, here much more is spent on it than in other Volga regions). Culture and cinematography is the second area with cut financing, it was spent 2% less than a year ago, 10,9bn rubles.

Costs on other spheres rose. Health care became the leader among big sectors in year-on-year growth. During the pandemic, which has been lasting for almost a year, it isn’t a surprise. Costs increased by 57% — from 16,2bn to 25,3bn rubles. The growth of costs on Social Policy isn’t so big, just 25%, but the numbers were already bigger here: this year it was equal to 37,1bn rubles, a year ago it totalled 29,7bn rubles.

Among record holders, we can single out physical culture and sport — 8,3bn rubles were spent on them during the first three quarters, which is 79% more than a year ago. The rise in expenses is bigger on environmental protection — five times. However, the sum here is anyway not big compared to other sectors — 1,6bn rubles. A year ago, it amounted to 324 million. Finally, National Defence has 66% of growth, its costs augmented from 93 million to 154 million rubles. Tatarstan’s budget had a deficit during the first three quarters — a year ago, incomes totalled 228bn, costs did 213 billion. Now the number changed to 222 and 238bn respectively. It seems the difference might grow by the end of the year.

Tatarstan as leader in education and infrastructure

Not only Tatarstan’s incomes but also incomes of another seven regions of Volga Federal Okrug exceed budget spending. It is Bashkortostan, Udmurtia, Orenburg, Penza, Saratov and Ulyanovsk Oblasts as well as Perm Krai. The other six regions out 14 still manage to be in the black. It is not only small republics like Mari El and Mordovia but also quite large regions, for instance, Nizhny Novgorod and Samara Oblasts.

Tatarstan in general has the biggest both incomes and costs among all Volga regions. Tatarstan with 222 billion rubles is followed by Bashkortostan with 177 billion, Nizhny Novgorod and Samara Oblasts with 165 and 156 billion as well as Perm Krai with 127 billion rubles. The distribution is costs is the same.

However, it is noteworthy, that Tatarstan at the same time is a leader in costs not in all sectors. For instance, with costs on social policy, Tatarstan (with its 37,1bn rubles) fall behind not only Bashkortostan (with 47,7bn rubles) but also Nizhny Novgorod and Samara Oblasts (their number is around 41bn rubles). This area includes costs on pensions, social service and maintenance of the population, protection of the family and childhood.

Moreover, Tatarstan follows Bashkortostan in costs on health care (Bashkiria has 28,4bn rubles, approximately by 3bn more than in Tatarstan) and national security and law enforcement (2,1bn in Bashkortostan against 1,6bn rubles in Tatarstan).

If we consider the per capita indicator, not absolute, it will turn out that Tatarstan lags behind in costs of the budget on social policy (despite the indicator’s rise by a quarter). The region spent 9,500 rubles on a citizen on average. In Bashkortostan, the average indicator is equal to 11,800 rubles, around 13,000 in Nizhny Novgorod and Samara Oblasts, 13,900 rubles in Orenburg Oblast. And even Penza Oblast with just 10,300 rubles goes ahead of Tatarstan.

Everything is quite good in costs on health care — every citizen had around 6,500 rubles on average in January-September 2020. This is the second-highest number in the region after Bashkortostan (it has 7,020 rubles). To compare, in Nizhny Novgorod, it is equal to 4,230, in Mari El and Kirov Oblast it totals around 3,500.

There are two spheres in which Tatarstan is a clear leader among Volga regions in per capita costs. The region spends 19,000 rubles on average on every citizen’s education — in the other Volga regions, this number isn’t above 15,400 (Udmurtia). In neighbouring Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, the indicator is around 14,000, 12,400 in Bashkortostan and just 11,200 rubles in Samara Oblast.

National Economy is the other sphere. 13,600 rubles are spent on every citizen in Tatarstan here, and the next region in numbers is Perm Krai with just 9,800 rubles. For instance, this indicator is two times lower in Bashkortostan than in Tatarstan — 7,080 rubles, Nizhny Novgorod and Samara Oblasts have 7,570 and 8,000 rubles.

Leading regions in property tax

As for incomes, Tatarstan is an absolute leader in several taxes. First of all, it is income tax. 97,600 billion rubles were collected in 9 months in 2020, the closest “chaser” — Nizhny Novgorod Oblast — has 86,7 billion rubles.

Also, Tatarstan has record high numbers in taxes on commodities, works and services 0 29,3bn rubles. For instance, Samara Oblast collected 17 billion, Bashkortostan did 16,7bn. Finally, the region collected 26,5bn rubles of property tax. Samara Oblast occupying the second place had just 16 billion, Bashkortostan and Nizhny Novgorod Oblasts collected a bit less than 11 billion.

The non-refundable transfers we considered as one of the main reasons of why incomes didn’t collapse compared to 2019 were indeed big, but not as big as they were in Bashkortostan — the number is equal to 62bn there (Tatarstan has 50,1bn). The indicator of the other regions, however, is notably smaller — so Saratov Oblast has 40,6bn, Nizhny Novgorod — 38,2bn, Perm Krai — 34bn rubles.

As for non-refundable transfers per capita, Tatarstan has one of the lowest numbers in the Volga region. Here every citizen owns 12,840 rubles. For instance, in Mari El, this indicator is twice bigger. Only two regions, both are large, had a smaller number of non-refundable transfers per capita. It is Nizhny Novgorod (11,940 per person) and Samara Oblasts (9,570).

As for tax and non-tax incomes, Tatarstan turned out to be a leader in per capita property tax. Every person here paid 6,800 rubles on average, its closest “chaser” — Samara Oblast — has 5,020, Bashkiria, for instance, got 2,630, Nizhny Novgorod — 3,380.

Moreover, Tatarstan is a leader in state duties and fees (236 rubles per person, from 156 to 216 rubles in the other regions), fines, sanctions and damage compensation (700 rubles per person, from 230 to 579 rubles in the Volga area) and other non-tax revenues.

By Maksim Matveyev, Realnoe Vremya’s analytic staff