Situated approximately 25 kilometers southwest of Tallinn, the town of Keila has launched a six-week campaign to lure de facto residents of the town who have registered as residents of Tallinn for the purpose of qualifying for free public transport in the capital to re-register themselves in Keila.
Keila is offering a one-off payout of €100 to each de facto resident of the town who re-registers themselves as a resident of Keila before the end of the year, spokespeople for the Keila town government said.
Mayor Enno Fels said that Tallinn's offering of free public transport has been functioning as a tool of unfair competition for many years already, enticing residents of neighboring municipalities to fictitiously register as residents of Tallinn in order to qualify.
"As personal income tax makes up a significant portion of a municipality's budget, Tallinn is with its actions stealing from its neighbors' budgets money meant for local welfare, environmental protection, and schools and kindergartens as well," the mayor pointed out.
Keila offers free public transportation to everyone, regardless of their registered place of residence. According to Fels, it would be fair and sensible of Tallinn to stop discriminating against people based on their registered address as well.
By a decision of the Keila town government, each individual who registers as a resident of Keila before the end of the year will be paid €100 net. In addition, spa packages to Keila's Latvian sister city of Sigulda and ten prizes of €300 each will also be raffled off among new and existing town residents.
The mayor said that while he can understand the lure of free public transport, people should register as residents of where they actually lie at least at the turn of the year to ensure that their tax money goes to where it belongs.
"In fact, in the modern e-state, it is a matter of just a few clicks of the mouse," Fels added.
As of the beginning of 2017, the town of Keila had a population of 9,862.
Editor: Aili Vahtla