Budgets of Golden Ring municipalities growing faster than Tallinn's

Apartment buildings in Viimsi.
Apartment buildings in Viimsi. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Of municipalities surrounding the capital Tallinn, or those making up the so-called Golden Ring, Rae Municipality will have the biggest budget next year, with expenses and investments totaling €86 million.

ERR looked at the coming year's budgets of five so-called golden municipalities –Rae. Viimsi, Saue, Harku and Saku.

While the municipalities are home to very few people compared to the capital, the Harju County local governments have long since overtaken Tallinn when it comes to average gross income of residents. Rae Municipality sports the highest average income in all of Estonia, being the only local government where it exceeded €2,000 in 2021.

Gross salary advance has also been fastest in Rae Municipality (€459 or 27.4 percent), coming to 23.5 percent in Viimsi and 22 percent in Harku Municipality.

Income amounts to €60.4 million and expenses to €57.4 million in Rae Municipality's 2023 budget. Investments total €28.7 million. Income is up 11 percent and spending 17.1 percent compared to this year. Expenses per resident came to €2,586.

Investments will largely go toward the Rae State High School's new sports facility, road construction and street lighting. Rae Municipality's investments tower above those of other Golden Ring local governments.

Saue Municipality, which is the largest in Harju County (24,646 residents), has €57.7 million in revenue and €53.1 million in costs planned for next year. Investments come to €14.8 million. Income will grow by 7.4 percent and expenses by 6.6 percent compared to this year. Spending per resident comes to €2,154.

A school annex in Laagri and a new kindergarten in the city of Saue are the biggest investments.

Viimsi, now Harju County's third largest "rural" municipality, has plans for €55 million as income and €50.6 million in expenses.

Investments come to €6.2 million. The largest investment is a football hall (€1.5 million), while €1 million will be spent on roads and streets. Half a million euros will go towards reconstructing the Viimsi School's swimming pool and main building.

Both income and expenses will grow by around 10 percent on year.

Expenses per resident come to €2,502.

Harku Municipality that had 16,664 residents at the start of this year, has €39.6 million on the revenue side and €35.8 million for spending in 2023. €11.7 million will go towards investments. A new kindergarten in Vääna-Jõesuu will cost €5 million to design and build. €1.3 million has been earmarked for the renovation of the main building of Tabasalu School, with €1.1 million spend on acquiring a kindergarten in Alasniidu.

The budget will grow by a whopping €31 percent.

Expenses come to €2,148 per resident in Harku Municipality.

Saku Municipality has €28.4 million in income and €28 million in spending planned. Investments total €11.9 million. The municipality will build a new basic school for €6.1 million, sports and recreational area (€0.6 million) and a central promenade (€0.2 million).

Income and costs will grow by a little over 10 percent compared to this year.

For comparison, Tallinn's spending will amount to €902 million or €2,026 per resident. Tallinn's 2023 budget will grow by 6.3 percent on year.


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Editor: Marko Tooming, Marcus Turovskiedge

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