The Osaka Municipal Government released a 1999 fiscal year budget proposal of 4.1 trillion yen Tuesday that calls for additional welfare assistance programs and 935 million yen for promoting its bid to host the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.
The proposal is a 5.4 percent decrease from fiscal 1998’s 4.4 trillion yen budget, reflecting a continued decline in the city’s tax income. “For the past two years, there has been a decrease in tax revenue, and we’ve been forced to issue bonds to cover the deficit,” Mayor Takafumi Isomura said in a prepared statement.
The city’s tax revenue for fiscal 1999 is estimated at 724.9 billion yen, a 4.2 percent decrease from the previous fiscal year. Corporate tax revenue is expected to come to 124 billion yen for 1999, an 18.3 percent drop compared to the previous year.
Because of declining revenues, third sector losses, and increased expenditures on welfare-related activities, the amount of bonds outstanding for the city now totals more than 4.5 trillion yen, and is expected to rise to nearly 4.8 trillion yen by the end of fiscal 1999 in March 2000.
A number of new programs to assist both the elderly and day laborers in the city’s Nishinari district were suggested. For the latter, about 1.3 billion yen was set aside for housing, employment and welfare assistance. The number of care-center staff for those in the district was increased from 20 to 170.
At the same time, continued losses in third-sector projects forced the city to inject 4 billion yen into the World Trade Center, 4.1 billion yen into the Asian Trade Center, and nearly 3 billion yen into Osaka City Air Terminal to stem the flow of red ink.
Universal Studios Japan, in which the city is the largest shareholder, is scheduled to receive 3.5 billion yen in assistance.