‘Give something back’: Zurich announces first income tax cut in decades

A person uses a calculator to work out their taxes
Zurich's income tax cut from 2022 is unlikely to put much more cash in your pocket. Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
Residents of Switzerland’s largest canton will have to pay less tax in the coming two years after Zurich passed its first tax cut in 18 years, although anyone hoping for big savings might be in for a shock.

On Tuesday, Zurich cantonal council voted to cut taxes for the first time since 2003. 

A result of the cut is that residents of Switzerland’s largest canton will need to pay less taxes in 2022 and 2023. 

In passing the cut, those behind it said they wanted to “give something back to the population during the pandemic”. 

The average tax cut for each Zurich resident will however be roughly CHF15 per year, which doesn’t buy you a lot with Zurich’s prices. 

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While the bill won widespread support from the SVP, FDP, Mitte and GLP, it was opposed by the Social Democrats and the Greens, who said it was irresponsible in the time of a crisis and would lead to austerity. 

They said it would cut around 70 million from the budget – which is already CHF300 million in the red. 

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Advocates said it would not force the canton further into debt, although there were no indications as to where the CHF70 million would be cut from the budget. 

The government said it would try and achieve this goal via a “tight budget execution”, i.e. through looking at where small cuts and savings could be made. 

The latest budget approved by Zurich parliamentarians showed a minus of CHF300 million, of a total budget of CHF17.1 billion. 

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