July 31, 2014. 33rd Session of the Legislative Duma of the 5th convocation
The 33rd session of the Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast of the 5th convocation was broadcast online. The agenda of the session and the bills submitted for consideration by the deputies were published on the Duma website beforehand.
Oksana Kozlovskaya, Duma Speaker gave her traditional address to the deputies.
Summary of the Speaker’s speech
Natalia Baryshnikova thanked the people of Tomsk Oblast for active involvement in humanitarian assistance to refugees from Uktaine’s south-east. The Oblast and City Committees of the Comunist Party have been raising humanitarian aid for five months. Two trucks have already been sent to Rostov Oblast with more to come.
Aleksey Fedorov pointed out that before the end of 2014 Tomsk Oblast will have received around 4,000 refugees. They all will need accommodation and jobs. He emphasized that recently the Oblast had not paid much attention to developing its specialized housing sector and was lacking temporary housing. With that in mind, the Oblast program to improve the living conditions of the people of Tomsk should be revived, he said.
CHILDREN’S RIGHTS ABOVE ALL
The deputies brought the regional law On basic guarantees of children’s rights in Tomsk Oblast in compliance with the new federal law On education and fiscal legislation. The Oblast Administration is authorized to establish a procedure to audit the results of any reconstruction or modernization, change of purpose or liquidation of a government-run social facility for children; or conclusion of any lease contract or a gratuitous use agreement in relation to such facilities.
FISCAL POLICY PRIORITIES
The deputies approved changes in the budget law. Revenues grew by 446.3m rubles and expenditures by 678.1m rubles.
The Oblast budget revenues in 2014 will total 50.1bn rubles, including tax and non-tax revenues of 40.4bn rubles and non-repayable receipts of 9.7bn rubles. Expenditures will total 54.1bn rubles, deficit – 4bn rubles or 9.8% of the revenues net of non-repayable receipts.
The debt ceiling will grow by 232m rubles and on January 1, 2015 will total 18.5bn rubles (45.7%).
The total amount of spending on the investment and innovation activity in 2014 was increased by 384.5m rubles and now totals 6.3bn rubles (including funding from the federal budget of 1.1bn rubles).
REGIONAL LAWS PUBLISHED ONLINE
The deputies adopted in the second reading amendments to the law. On the procedure for publication and enactment of laws and other legislative acts of Tomsk Oblast.
Laws, legislative acts and other official materials will be published on the official web portal E-administration of Tomsk Oblast at www.tomsk.gov.ru.
In accordance with the amended law, official publication shall mean without limitation first posting (publication) of a law or a legislative act on the Official Web Portal for Legal Information at www.pravo.gov.ru and (or) publication on the official web portal E-administration of Tomsk Oblast at www.tomsk.gov.ru.
SUPPORT FOR APICULTURE
The deputies passed in two readings a new Oblast law On apiculture in Tomsk Oblast. The law provides a legal framework for the keeping and breeding of bees by individuals and legal entities and established conditions to promote apiculture in Tomsk Oblast. Also, the law clearly defines scopes of authority of the regional government agencies and areas of government support for beekeepers.
GAS PROJECTS NEED DEVELOPMENT
The Oblast deputies considered and passed in two readings draft amendments to the Oblast law On corporate property tax. The amendments provide corporate property tax benefits to investors building gas distribution lines and facilities connecting rural areas as part of the government program Development of gas supply facilities and networks in Tomsk Oblast for 2013-2018.
The new benefit is expected to reduce by 25% the amount of the economically justified gas transportation tariff for these facilities.
According to the initiators of the amendments, low gas supply and utilization rates in Tomsk Oblast are explained by poor development of gas networks, especially in remote areas of the Oblast. Out of 586 communities, only 76 were connected to gas supply networks in 2013. At the same time, Tomsk Oblast is implementing a government program Development of gas supply facilities and networks in Tomsk Oblast for 2013-2018. Eligible are investors involved in a socially oriented gas network project. Applications from investors will be reviewed by a special work group for the development of gas facilities and networks established by Order of the Governor of Tomsk Oblast. The amended law provides additional incentives for investors and prevents excessive growth of gas tariffs for households participating in the Oblast program.
DRUG REHABILITATION NPOs
Since July 2, 2014 government agencies are exercising the right to provide government support to non-profit organizations involved in medical, social and labor-driven drug rehabilitation activities. Tomsk legislators have used this opportunity and passed in the second reading amendments to the Oblast law On support for socially oriented non-profit organizations by Tomsk Oblast government bodies which provide access to government grants for drug prevention and rehabilitation NPOs. The money will be allocated from the federal budget. There are 13 dedicated NPOs in Tomsk Oblast. Only two are certified yet.
TAXES FOR REGIONS
The deputies unanimously supported a request to the Russian Government to eliminate inconsistencies in the federal tax legislation which prevent remitting the extraction tax to the local budget at the location of the subsoil site.
Current tax law of Russia prescribes that taxpayers – users of subsoil resources – shall register at the location of the subsoil site. At the same time, the ‘location’ could be any municipal entity within the region(s) in which the subsoil site is located. Consequently, the production company pays the extraction tax to the budget at the place of registration rather than at the location of the subsoil site. It often happens that the subsoil site is located in the territory of one municipal entity and the respective tax is remitted to the budget of another municipal entity. At the same time, in Tomsk Oblast there is a law which prescribes full remittance of the extraction tax to the local budgets, which makes things even worse for the municipal entities on whose territories real extraction takes place.
The deputies rely on the federal government to initiate amendments to the existing federal legislation.
LAND FOR BENEFIT HOLDERS
The deputies passed in two readings amendments to the law On provision and withdrawal of land plots in Tomsk Oblast. Under the amended law, individuals entitled to benefits will be provided with land plots duly included in cadastral registers. For large families, the rate for the land where they live in the house provided to them under a gratuitous use agreement, is equal to the land tax rate.
In accordance with changes made to the Oblast law On contents and procedure for the development of town planning documents of the municipal entities of Tomsk Oblast, higher government bodies shall take into account recommendations by local governments in whose territories facilities of federal importance will be located.