New Riga City Council to be called upon to support Riga PBOs and promote transparency

On 15 September, several public benefit organizations (PBOs) came together to discuss the negative effects of the amendments to the Riga Council Binding Regulations No. 111 “Procedure for Granting Immovable Property Tax Relief in Riga” adopted by the Riga City Council at the end of 2019. The changes are based on the restrictions on the application of immovable property tax relief, stipulating that from 30 January 2020, a total discount limit of EUR 10,000 will be applied to legal entities.  The discount limit for PBOs was EUR 5,000.

These binding regulations significantly worsen the situation of the 14 CSOs working in Riga and, among other things, addressing social issues related to the poor or homeless individuals in Riga. As already mentioned, this is a serious financial blow to the association “Latvijas Samariešu apvienība”, these regulations also affect the association “Free Riga”, which revives abandoned buildings through its activities, providing premises for those who carry out public activities, work in the field of culture, help vulnerable groups and the needy, launches innovative projects and, at the same time, promotes the gentrification of the abandoned areas. There are a number of other public benefit organizations in Riga that help the municipality to develop and provide support to its citizens, which the administration alone cannot do.