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Village and canton gain massive mystery windfall

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Village and canton gain massive mystery windfall
Vineyard in Anières. Photo: Babsy/Wikimedia Commons
10:39 CET+01:00
A village in the canton of Geneva and the cantonal government are struggling to decide what to do with unexpected windfall revenues totalling 520 million francs ($538 million) from taxes levied on a mysterious transfer of assets.

The vineyard village of Anières, with a population of just 2,500, gained 120 million francs, 12 times the municipality's annual budget.

The canton of Geneva is on the receiving of around 400 million francs, the Tribune de Genève said.

Because of privacy laws the exact details of the tax revenues and the identity of the taxpayer have not been released.

But Patrick Ascheri, the mayor of Anières, said the revenue came from taxation on a transfer of assets, the Tribune reported.

Aster earlier said he was staggered by news of the financial jackpot.

When he received word of the transaction “it was a shock, we were really not expecting this,” Ascheri told the Tribune.

The money has not been earmarked for precise uses yet but the municipality on Geneva's Left Bank has various construction and renovation projects that can now be financed, he said.

Ascheri would also like to see part of the sum invested.

A debate is under way, meanwhile, at the cantonal level about what to do with the newfound revenues.

Many members of parliament are calling for the sum to be used to pay down the canton’s debt of around 13 billion francs. 

In addition to the village and canton, the federal government is also gaining revenues of several hundred million francs from the mystery property transfer.

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