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Act on Growth Acceleration

In December 2009 the Act on Economic Growth Acceleration passed the German Parliament. This act is a response to the world economic crisis and the intention is to reduce taxes so that people keep more money to spend on consuming. This - so the idea - should well promote the re-growth of German economy. Tax income deficiencies due to this act however are said to be at 4.63 billion Euros for the Federal Government, 2.28 billion for the German countries and yet 1.57 billion for the communities.

So it is obvious that many towns and communities are having a huge problem, especially those ones, which are already persisting at their financial limits. However, federalism and subsidiarity open options for creative solutions to this problem. Some communities have already been surprisingly inventive on how best to avoid the trap of debts. Alexandra Fleskes has quite researched this issue and reports some four examples how communities and towns make do with the new act.

Lengenfeld, a town in the Rhine Land, has literally swept their debts away. One among several measures the Lengenfeld citizens took was that they have taken personal charge of their town's street cleaning. They did it all themselves and pro bono at that, as this job is something all can do and all would do, as it is their place and they are the ones who in fact directly benefit from their doing. Quite remarkable costs could be saved by this one. Further the Lengenfelders have reduced the number of administrative stuff, which is yet well paid and hard working now. Treasurer in charge, Detlef Müller, was happy when on October 3 in 2008 the town of Lengenfeld could celebrate a three-day-party over being free from debts after 20 years.

Aachen, a self-governing city with self-responsible budget came up with the idea to link the adjacent equally self-governing and self-budgetary districts and gather the region under one roof. By this the separated and many spheres of competencies and responsibility were cut down to just one for each matter, like for example there now is only one central office for rescue instead of the earlier three. Same was pursued with other double, triple or even multiple existing offices, which have now grown to be just one now, yet covering the needs of the entire region. By this the town saves an annual total amounting to a seven digit sum.