The mayor of Oulu published his budget estimate proposal for 2024 – the city invests heavily in the future


The mayor of Oulu Seppo Määttä has published his proposal for the city of Oulu’s budget estimate for 2024 and action plan for the years 2025-2026.

The budget estimate proposal for 2024 is in deficit but the result of the financial period in 2026 will show a surplus if the city’s tax revenue continues to improve positively. Simultaneously the expense pressure grows, and the city invests heavily into the future.

High inflation and the rise of interest levels are trying people’s purchasing power. The unemployment rate is on the rise. The rate is 13,8% in Oulu, while the rate is 10,3% in Finland. The city of Oulu is preparing for a reformation of TE Services in 2025 which will shift the responsibility of employment and trade services to municipalities.

Loan is taken out to fund investments – tax rates do not change

The city of Oulu’s budget estimate shows a deficit of 34 million euros. The economic impact of the wellbeing service county reform (hyvinvointialueuudistus) will continue to affect the municipalities’ tax funding and the city of Oulu’s tax funding declines about 25 million euros when compared to the year 2023. The tax funding is estimated to climb beginning from 2025 and will turn to positive profit in 2026.

The investment expenses are significant in the next three years, about 650 million euros in total, and the city needs to take out a loan for the investments. The net loan for 2024 is 141 million euros, it comes to 3 439€ per resident. However, the city’s properties are simultaneously being considered, and the possible sale profits can be used to reduce the loan amounts in the budget estimate period.

The income tax rate of 7,86% is rounded up to the nearest decimal as instructed by the tax administration and is represented in the estimate proposal as 7,90%. Real estate tax rates do not change in the proposal.

The city of Oulu invests about 650 million euros in the development of infrastructure, reinforcing education, culture, and sport services, and promoting pull factors of tourism. Oulu will build a new swimming pool centre in Raksila, a new museum and science centre connected to Tietomaa, and the Jääkärinkangas Community Centre in Hiukkavaara which is the largest singular investment. Projects finishing next year are, for example, the city hall renovation, the new Linnanmaa Swimming Pool, and the renovation of Maikkula School. Oulu’s pull factor investments include the Housing Exhibition 2025, the development plans of Nallikari and Pikisaari, as well as the Virpiniemi Exercise Centre.

The Northern programme is being prepared

The strategical importance of Northern Finland has increased, and the Northern programme is being prepared under the Government’s authority. The purpose of the programme is to enhance transport connections, support the clean transition, and create conditions to ensure Finland’s safety and security of supply. The city of Oulu has played a significant role in bringing about the declaration in the government programme together with the Northern municipalities, Regional Councils, educational institutions, and chambers of commerce.

Oulu is the European Capital of Culture in 2026 and the city is preparing to receive guests from near and far. Cultural Climate Change will be visible in the expressions and the well-being of the entire city and its residents.

The mayor’s proposal proceeds to be processed by the city board and decided on by the city council

The mayor’s proposal will proceed to be processed in the city board’s budget discussion 19.10 - 20.10., the city board's budget estimate processing dates are 7.11. and 14.11., the city council’s budget estimate processing starts 27.11., and the council will make a decision on the estimate in their meeting on 11.12.2023.

The material’s regarding the budget estimate (in Finnish)