Hesse: Fiscal waste: long list of overpriced projects

Reiner Holznagel, President of the Federal Government of German Taxpayers. Photo: Britta Pedersen / dpa central image / dpa

(Photo: Britta Pedersen / dpa-Zentralbild / dpa)

A bakery without a furnace, a five-fold increase in renovation costs and costly planning mistakes: The list of overpriced projects in the Black Book of the Taxpayers Association is long.

Wiesbaden (dpa / lhe) – The unfair and public management of public funds costs the Hessian taxpayer, according to experts, millions of dollars a year. If the waste has increased, it could not be said concretely, said Tuesday the President of the Taxpayers Association, Joachim Papendick, during the presentation of the Black Book 2019/20 in Wiesbaden. "But there are still too many cases." Across the country, he wasted one billion dollars in the state.

Tax experts would receive almost daily communications with references from local citizens or politicians, Papendick said. In any case, the other party is always asked to provide an explanation of the cost evolution before inclusion in the black book. Nationally, the book lists about 100 cases of wastage of money by the state. Hessen was represented with ten examples in the current print edition:

– Expensive expansion of the stadium

The second division football stadium, SV Wehen Wiesbaden, is currently moving from around 12,500 to 15,000 places. Rules of the German Football League (LDF) with the minimum capacity of spectator are the reason. But this is not necessary in the eyes of tax experts. Before the rise of the club in the 3rd division, there remained on average only a little more than 3000 spectators in the stadium. Even in the last divisional season, ten years ago, there were just under 8,000 visitors. Nevertheless, the state of Hesse with 3.5 million euros participates in the reconstruction. From the experts' point of view, the public sector should stay out of professional sports funding and the DFL should revise its strict statutes.

– Costly Democracy

In the district of Marburg-Biedenkopf, it was decided not to combine the district election with the European elections at the end of May last year, but to choose an independent appointment at the beginning of September. A joint election day had probably been rejected for tactical reasons, Papendick said. As a result, turnout was significantly lower than yesterday and avoidable costs were incurred. Alone in the city of Marburg, the costs would be in a district election at 74,500 euros. "Of course, democracy can cost money," said the president. In this case, however, additional costs were unduly incurred.

– Development of the electronic highway in the cul-de-sac dead end?

For the research and development of catenary trucks, there is a test track in Hesse on the highway 5. Nationwide, the electric road project funded by the Federal Government with a amount of about 107 million euros, according to a Hessen flow according to 14.6 million euros, However, it is feared that this model is never used throughout the country as this technology is very expensive and remains in competition with other technologies, warned the tax experts. In addition, trucks coming from abroad may not have the most efficient technology. The tax money for the project would then have been invested in a stalemate.

– Backhaus without oven

As in another case called Papendick, the renovation of the historic Bad Hersfelder Asbach bakery resulted in costs of € 78,000. During the works, it turned out that the building structure had many more defects than expected, so the costs doubled. The barely used oven was no longer usable, so the bakery is now used as a storage room.

– explosion of costs during the renovation of the castle

The renovation of the Royal Wing of Bad Homburg Castle was still not completed after more than eight years and construction costs would have quintupled, criticized the tax expert. First, the responsible Ministry of Science had assumed two years of construction and costs of up to two million euros. After many other damage to the building during the works, the renovation has grown and cost about 10 million euros.

– Watchtower without future

Less than three years after the opening of the Kellerwald tower in Schwalm-Eder-Kreis, the watchtower erected at the cost of the land on the Wüstegarten hill has already suffered significant damage, said Papendick. After a year of unsuccessful litigation with a construction company about the guarantee, the German weather service must now move with a Wetterradarturm on the mountain and equip it with a viewing platform. For the Kellerwaldturm should be demolished. Alone for the construction and demolition of the old tower, the litigation amounted to about 400 000 €.

– Renunciation of an expensive sedative of the traffic

The city of Hanau has responded to criticism from the taxpayer association and renounced an expensive technical system of speed control, tax experts said. The city wanted to animate a Tempo 20 zone with a steel plate that can be lowered electrically to slow down driving. Such a system would have cost 47,000 euros, well above the price of 7,000 euros for conventional speed bumps. From now on, a section of the road leading to the pedestrian zone will be dedicated again.

Bundestag of taxpayer communication Hesse

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