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From Sakhalin to Cupid:

Results of 2014 for regional budgets of the Far Eastern Federal District

From Sakhalin to Cupid:

Last year is not unfairly considered successful for the Far East. Despite the crisis processes covering the Russian economy, the Far East showed good financial and budgetary figures, justifying the rate that the federal government makes for its development.

The media has repeatedly said that the FEF has become a leader among the federal districts of Russia in terms of growth of budget revenues. At the same time, as expected, there are huge differences in the state of their budgets and their dynamics between the FEFD regions.

Income part

According to the data of the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation for January-December 2014, which are used in this article, the revenues of the regional budgets of the Far Eastern Federal District in total exceeded 600 billion rubles (in the article we use data on the regional budgets themselves, and not on the consolidated budgets of regions, including municipalities). At the same time, two leaders stand out in the Far Eastern Federal District - Yakutia and Sakhalin, whose budgetary revenues are almost twice as high as those of the regions of the second group, also, note that they have significant incomes (Primorsky and Khabarovsk territories). Two regions with a successful resource economy and a small population thus outperform the two traditionally key regions of the Far Eastern Federal District. Kamchatka and Amur Oblast are further behind them, followed by Magadan Oblast and Chukotka. The table is closed by the Jewish Autonomous Region. In the Far Eastern Federal District, a kind of hierarchy of regions is being built according to their budget revenues, and it looks very prominent.

At the same time, in the DFO regions, dependence on federal financial assistance is very different. In terms of its own tax and non-tax revenues, Sakhalin has become the undisputed leader, while Yakutia is lagging behind, taking second place. Due to the high share of own revenues, the Amur Region is significantly ahead of Kamchatka in their volume, which turns out to be approximately at the same level as the Magadan Region.

The unprecedented growth of its own budget revenues helped Sakhalin almost completely overcome the subsidized dependence on the federal budget. Sakhalin became the only donor region in the Far Eastern Federal District that does not receive subsidies for equalizing the budget provision from the federal budget. He also turned out to be one of the few regions of the country where the share of own revenues in the budget exceeds 90%. Its unique antipode in the Far Eastern Federal District is Kamchatka, which is characterized by a very high level of subsidy and provides itself with less than 30%. Significant financial dependence on the center is characterized by Yakutia, the Magadan Region, Chukotka and the Jewish Autonomous Region, which themselves provide about half. It is interesting that the Amur Region in 2014 increased its level of budget independence, although this is hardly a real achievement (for the related problems of underfinancing, see below). On the whole, the share of tax and non-tax revenues in budgets of the Primorsky and Khabarovsk Territories is quite high (about 70%).

The analysis of the revenues from certain taxes and fees in the regional budgets of the Far Eastern Federal District clearly shows that in the most successful regions the tax on profits plays a more significant role. This is a long-known trend in Russia, when the presence in the region of large profitable enterprises, usually raw materials, contributes to the growth of the budget's security, or else the region begins to depend more on the income tax. It is noteworthy that in tax and non-tax revenues of Sakhalin, the share of income tax exceeded 60%, which is much higher than in any other region of the Far Eastern Federal District. On the contrary, in Kamchatka, the share of income from income tax is similarly large. The income from the profit tax and in such regions with the raw materials economy as Yakutia and Chukotka predominate. However, in most regions of the DFO, income from income tax is dominant, which indirectly gives the lack of successful profitable industries. It is typical that this share exceeds 40% in Khabarovsk and Primorye, which could become more successful from the point of view of increasing their own budget revenues, but they are not all going well.

In addition, a feature of a number of commodity regions is a significant share of budget revenues from the mineral extraction tax (MET). Recall, in particular, that the entire regional budgets include a tax on the extraction of diamonds. As a result, the share of mineral extraction tax in own revenues of the budget of Yakutia exceeded 16%, it was 17,5% in the Magadan region and reached almost 20% in Chukotka.

A fairly significant role in incomes is played by the property tax of organizations, which fully goes to the budget of the subject of the federation. Its share exceeded 15% in the Khabarovsk Territory and the Amur Region, and in many other entities is more than 10%. Khabarovsk and Primorsky Krai also receive good revenues from excises (about 10-11% of the regional budget's own revenues). Taxes on aggregate income, indicative of the importance of small business, are small in the Far Eastern Federal District, but their share exceeds 5% in the Primorie Territory, Kamchatka and the Jewish Autonomous Region. The Sakhalin Oblast stood out for another indicator, selling its assets: it earned 27,5 billion rubles in this way, which amounted to about 20% of its own budget revenues. More such large sales of property, none of the regions of the Far Eastern Federal District was engaged, and on Sakhalin it increased the already growing budget.

Yakutia, with good dynamics of its own, remains the largest recipient of federal financial assistance in the Far Eastern Federal District. In 2014, gratuitous receipts from the budgets of other levels amounted to more than 60 billion rubles (of which more than 50 billion were subsidies for equalizing budgetary provision, i.e. the main type of subsidies). The second is Kamchatka, which received almost 40 billion rubles from the center (including almost 34 billion rubles in subsidies to equalize budgetary provision). More than 20 billion rubles each came from the center to the Primorsky and Khabarovsk Territories.

Of the three main types of federal financial assistance - grants, subsidies and subventions - the role of subsidies is especially important for the Far Eastern Federal District. The northern territories, especially the Far North, are traditionally highly subsidized in Russia. The share of subsidies is very large in the Kamchatka budget - almost 64% (including subsidies for equalizing budgetary provision - 61%). The budgets of Chukotka (about 45%), Yakutia and the Magadan region (35% each) strongly depend on subsidies, and in the south of the Far East - the economically most backward Jewish Autonomous Region (almost 28%). In other regions, the share of subsidies in regional budgets is small, while in Sakhalin it is just scanty (0,5%).

The share of subsidies turned out to be especially noticeable in the budgets of those regions to which the center continued to provide assistance to overcome the consequences of the catastrophic flood of 2013. It exceeded 12% in the budget of the Amur Region and amounted to 7-8% in the Jewish Autonomous Region and Khabarovsk Territory. The financially most successful regions of the Far Eastern Federal District - Yakutia and Sakhalin - were the least dependent on subsidies. As for subventions, their share was about 5-6% in the budgets of the Amur Region, Jewish Autonomous Region and Primorsky Krai, and in other cases it was lower.

As we have already noted, the Far Eastern Federal District is distinguished by good dynamics of growth of budget revenues in Russia. However, taking into account inflation, which amounted to 2014% in 11,36, one should distinguish real from formal growth. In general, in the FEFD, budget revenues remained, rather, at the same level (growth was 11%), but it was still better than in the country as a whole (formal growth by 9%). It should be understood that the bulk of the increase in budget revenues of the Far Eastern Federal District was provided by one region - Sakhalin (an increase of 67%). Real growth also occurred in Chukotka (by 21%) and in Yakutia (by 13%). At the same time, in the case of Primorsky and Kamchatka territories, it is more correct to speak only of formal growth - by 9%. In a number of regions, there was a decline in budget revenues, and the Amur Region found itself among Russian outsiders altogether (a decrease in revenues by 31%). The decrease in incomes was very sensitive in the Jewish Autonomous Region (by 19%). Decreased budget revenues in the Khabarovsk Territory and Magadan Region. Therefore, there is no need to talk about a single positive trend in the Far Eastern Federal District. On the contrary, the federal district included regions with both the best (Sakhalin) and the worst (Amur Region) dynamics in the country.

However, the real indicator of the FEFD's success was an increase in its own budget revenues, since the bulk of the financial instability turned out to be associated with federal aid (see below). The growth of tax and non-tax revenues in the Far Eastern Federal District was as much as 30%, compared with 12% for the country as a whole. Nevertheless, here, too, the regions of the Far Eastern Federal District are very different from each other. The bulk of the increase was provided by the two most successful resource regions - Sakhalin (by 78%) and Yakutia (by 30%). In addition, Kamchatka showed excellent growth (by 23%), but its income is not so great. In most regions, formal growth did not exceed inflation. Chukotka, with its eternally unstable financial base (by 16%), showed a decline in its own incomes.

It is not surprising that the bulk of the increase in regional revenues was provided by the profit tax, the revenues from which in the Far Eastern Federal District increased by 64%. But again, this is primarily the result of Sakhalin (an increase of 2,3 times). Yakutia and Chukotka showed growth due to their raw materials production, but in the Khabarovsk Territory, the Amur Region and the Jewish Autonomous Region, income tax revenues, on the contrary, decreased.

A positive fact for the Far Eastern Federal District was the almost universal increase in income tax revenues: in the district as a whole, it amounted to 20%. The situation with this tax in Chukotka was a little worse, where revenues increased by 10%. Noteworthy is the excellent growth in revenue from the tax on the extraction of minerals, especially in Yakutia (by 43%) and Chukotka (by 35%), which again “betrays” the success of the resource sector. In most regions, revenues from corporate property tax also grew steadily (in the district as a whole - by 17%). At the same time, the dynamics of taxes on total income was negative, which indicated the complicated situation of small business in the Far Eastern Federal District (in Russia, on the contrary, there was an increase). Both in Russia and in the Far Eastern Federal District, receipts from excise taxes fell. In the Far Eastern Federal District, the revenues of the regions from the use of their state property have significantly decreased.

In general, thus, the situation with own incomes and their dynamics was relatively favorable in the Far Eastern Federal District. The greatest financial difficulties were caused by the unstable state of affairs with federal aid, which in the Far Eastern Federal District became much less. In general, in the Okrug, the volume of gratuitous receipts to regional budgets fell by 13%, while in Russia they increased by 10%. Chukotka became the only region where there was an increase, moreover, a jump in transfers, but the specificity of this region always consists in the extreme variability of financial indicators from year to year (the growth of transfers almost doubled, while the region's own revenues fell). The formal growth of transfers at the level of 4% was noted in the Primorsky and Kamchatka Territories, while in other regions the transfers decreased. Especially sharply - their volume decreased by more than two times in the Amur Region, which significantly destabilized the budget process.

An analysis of the different types of transfers clarifies this picture. The amount of subsidies received by the regions of the Far Eastern Federal District increased, but only by 6%, which is less than in the country as a whole. The sharpest increase in subsidies was noted in Chukotka - 3,5 times. Subsidies on Sakhalin have grown significantly - by 73%, but the island region receives very little of them. The increase in subsidies in the Khabarovsk Territory turned out to be solid - by 44%, while in the Primorsky Territory it was much less - by 12%. The increase in the volume of subsidies in Kamchatka was small, but their volume is already very large there. On the contrary, in Yakutia, the Jewish Autonomous Region, the Magadan Region, subsidies have decreased, in the Amur Region - by half.

The best growth in the Far Eastern Federal District was the volume of federal subventions - by 15% (in Russia - by 13%). The increase in subventions was especially noticeable in Yakutia (by 35%), the center also increased subventions in the Jewish Autonomous Region (23%) and the Primorsky Territory (21%), the Sakhalin and Magadan regions showed significant growth. In other regions, the growth of subventions was formal, not exceeding inflation.

However, the general deterioration of the situation with federal transfers in the DFO was due to a sharp decrease in the volume of subsidies: they decreased by 53%. This indicator has worsened in Russia as a whole, but not on such a scale. First of all, the reduction of subsidies was associated with a decrease in their revenues in the regions affected by the floods and received large subsidies in 2013, in the Amur Region, the Jewish Autonomous Region, the Khabarovsk Territory (a reduction of three or almost three times). In addition, more than three times less subsidies came to Chukotka, but she received much more subsidies than before.

Expenditure part

Now let's see what needs the regions of the Far Eastern Federal District were able to spend the funds received. In terms of budget expenditures in the Far Eastern Federal District, Yakutia is in first place, behind which Sakhalin is lagging behind, which was distinguished by a significant budget surplus and was unable, therefore, to spend all the "wealth" that had fallen on it. Further, the regions are lined up in approximately the same sequence as in their budget revenues. But at the same time, for example, the Khabarovsk Territory spends more than the Primorsky Territory, and receives less. In other words, there are regions that clearly lacked income, which led to a noticeable budget deficit. The Amur Region turned out to be the same example.

In the expenditure part of regional budgets, observers often pay special attention to expenditures on national issues and the media. In this respect, there are many differences between the regions of the Far Eastern Federal District. For example, Kamchatka and the Khabarovsk Territory clearly stand out in terms of the share of spending on general state issues, where it exceeds 5%. On the contrary, the most modest of all are the authorities of the Amur Region (2,6%). If we consider the costs of the highest official of a constituent entity of the federation, then the most "expensive" it is in Yakutia (over 190 million rubles) and the Jewish Autonomous Region (over 110 million rubles). The Jewish Autonomous Region is also distinguished in percentage terms (0,9% of budget expenditures). On the contrary, in the Amur Region less than three million rubles were spent on the head of the region.

As for the costs for the executive authorities of the region (an article separate from the cost of a higher official), the picture is partially overlapping here. The lowest percentage was spent on this article in the same Amur region and on Sakhalin. On the contrary, Chukotka, Kamchatka, Magadan Oblast and Khabarovsk Krai had the highest percentages. In quantitative terms, the leader was the Khabarovsk Territory (more than 640 million rubles), from which Kamchatka and Sakhalin fell behind. Strangely, in the Jewish Autonomous Region these costs turned out to be the smallest (about 22 million rubles), which is several times less than the cost of the first person. Perhaps, this is explained by the specifics of the expenditure policy of this region.

Of the regional legislative assemblies, the most "expensive" one works in the Primorsky Territory (more than 400 million rubles were spent on it). More than 300 million rubles were spent on legislative power in Yakutia and the Sakhalin region. On the contrary, in the Jewish Autonomous Region this figure is minimal (about 50 million rubles). In terms of its share in budget expenditures, the Amur Region looks like the most "modest", and Chukotka is the leader.

In terms of media spending, the clear leader in the Far Eastern Federal District is Yakutia, where these costs amount to about one billion rubles (0,6% of budget expenditures). Most of the money is spent on the media either in the northern regions, where funds are spent on delivery to remote areas, or in the largest and most populated regions, such as the Khabarovsk and Primorsky Territories. It is the last two regions that took the second and third places in terms of media spending - after Yakutia. And in percentage terms, the leader, ahead of Yakutia, was Chukotka (0,7%). But let us emphasize that the actual expenditures on the media make up a very small part of budget expenditures, and attracting public attention to them is often associated with political games. In the Jewish Autonomous Region, they amounted to 19 million rubles.

Much more significant are the expenditures on the national economy, the share of which in the regions of the Far Eastern Federal District is twice as large. Leaders here are Chukotka, Kamchatka and Sakhalin (20-25%), and the least of all these costs are in percentage terms in the Magadan region and the Jewish Autonomous Region (12,5%). Of the individual areas of expenditure on the national economy, the largest is usually the road economy. It is not surprising that the southern regions of the Far Eastern Federal District, where the road network is developed, are most heavily spent on it - Khabarovsk and Primorsky Krai, the Amur Region (9-10%). At the same time in Yakutia this share is minimal (about 3%). But Yakutia traditionally is the leader in spending on agriculture and fisheries (more than 5%), which also play a significant role in the spending policy of the Amur region and Chukotka (about 4%). On the contrary, in a number of regions where these costs could be high due to the existence of obvious needs, their share is minimal due to the peculiarities of the authorities' policies - in the Khabarovsk Territory, the Magadan Region, and in Kamchatka.

One more major item of budgetary expenses is housing and communal services. Usually the most funds are spent on it in the Far North, where maintenance of housing and communal services is very expensive. But according to the results of 2014, Sakhalin (more than a quarter of all expenses) came first, and after it Chukotka (more than 20%), Magadan Oblast and Yakutia were expected to follow. On the other hand, it is striking how little they spend on the housing and utilities authorities of the Jewish Autonomous Region (total 3,3% of expenditure). Relatively small are the costs for housing and communal services of Primorsky and Khabarovsk territories.

As in all other regions of the country, the bulk of budget expenditures goes to the Far Eastern Federal District for the maintenance of the social sphere. As a rule, education is in the first positions. The leaders here are Yakutia, Primorsky and Khabarovsk Territories, Jewish Autonomous Region (20-25% of budget expenditures). Sakhalin and Chukotka are lagging behind (15-17%), where expensive housing and communal services "outweigh". Chukotka looks like an outsider in terms of health care expenditures (about 10%), where Kamchatka is slightly ahead (almost 12%). The leader here is Primorye, along with the Magadan Region (almost 20%).

Primorsky Krai is also one of the leaders of the Far Eastern Federal District in terms of expenditures on social policy proper (about 25%). But right here, the Jewish Autonomous Region took the clear first place (about 35%). Khabarovsk Territory and Amur Oblast also spent more than 20% of funds on this sector. An outsider here is Chukotka (less than 8%), as well as Sakhalin (about 9%) and the Magadan region (almost 11%).

Expenditures on culture in the regions are small and far from universally visible at all. More attention was given to them on Sakhalin and Kamchatka (more than 2%). A similar situation with similar indicators has developed with spending on physical culture and sports. Outsiders on both counts are Chukotka and the Amur Region, and for culture, the Jewish Autonomous Region is also.

In general, thus, the Primorsky Territory budget is clearly allocated its social orientation in the Far Eastern Federal District. The opposite situation has developed in Chukotka, where they spend more on housing and communal services and the national economy.

Very interesting is the dynamics of budget expenditures. In general, expenses for the Far Eastern Federal District increased by 2014% in 6, which was more modest than in Russia as a whole (growth by 8%). At the same time, the growth in national issues was generally small (by 5%), but within them there was a more noticeable increase in spending on senior officials (by 7%) and on regional executive authorities (by 14%). The Kamchatka (at 36%) and Primorye (by 18%, which can be explained by the election of the governor, but not by the expenses for the functioning of the authorities) showed quite a vigorous dynamics of expenditure on national issues. On Sakhalin, on the contrary, these costs were reduced, given that the region was criticized for large expenditures on such issues. On top officials, a sharp increase in expenditures occurred in Chukotka (by 76%), in the Khabarovsk Territory (by 63%) and in Kamchatka (by 28%). But in the Magadan region these expenses were halved, they decreased in Primorye (now we will say that, despite the elections). As for regional governments, they began to spend much more in Yakutia (at 38%), in Kamchatka (at 32%) and in the Khabarovsk Territory (at 20%). Reduction of costs was noted in the Amur Region and the Jewish Autonomous Region. In Chukotka, the spending on the legislative assembly (by 32%) also increased significantly, and the Khabarovsk Territory again became the second leader of growth (17%). On the contrary, in Yakutia, the costs of regional legislative power have been reduced.

Thus, if we separately talk about spending on the regional authorities, they were particularly increased in the Khabarovsk Territory (despite the budget deficit), as well as in Kamchatka and Chukotka. On the contrary, the regime of economy of officials on itself worked in the Amur region.

On the media, many DFO regions preferred to save, which led to an overall reduction of these expenses in the district by 3%. Primorsky Krai especially sharply reduced these expenses, although this happened during the gubernatorial campaign. At the same time, Chukotka increased media spending by 36%, followed by Kamchatka (an increase of 19%).

But the main victim of the budgetary austerity policy was spending on the national economy, which decreased in the Far Eastern Federal District by 12%. Only Sakhalin, with its financial well-being, was able to really increase these costs (by 18%). On the contrary, spending on the national economy was halved in problem regions - in Chukotka, in the Jewish Autonomous Region and in the Amur Region. At the same time, the decline in expenses for the road sector was especially noticeable - by 16%. Not a single region of the Far Eastern Federal District had their real growth exceeding inflation. The cost of roads in the Jewish Autonomous Region has been reduced more than twice, while the indicators in the northern regions - Magadan Region and Chukotka Autonomous District - have dropped significantly. Yakutia was forced to reduce its traditionally large expenditures on agriculture.

The main stake in the conditions of budgetary restrictions was made by the regional authorities to the socially most important spheres. It is interesting that the regions of the Far Eastern Federal District increased spending on utilities (by 14%), while in Russia they fell. But this figure is deceptive. The main growth was demonstrated by Sakhalin (almost twice), and in all other regions (except Yakutia) there was a decline. In the Jewish Autonomous Region, regional authorities reduced the cost of housing and communal services to a minimum, twice, almost abandoning them and shifting them to local self-government. Seriously reduced them in the Khabarovsk Territory.

First of all, of course, the regions of the DFO, following the instructions of the federal government, increased spending on the social sphere and budget salaries. The maximum attention was paid to the educational sphere, the expenses for which grew faster in the Far Eastern Federal District than in the country as a whole (21% and 16%, respectively). In this case, Sakhalin (65%) also became the leader of growth, Magadan Oblast (32%), Kamchatka (26%) stood out clearly. The only exception was the Amur Region, where growth was, but insignificant (by 4%).

However, in the healthcare sector, it was not possible to provide the same positive dynamics. The volume of financing increased by only 3%, which was worse than in the country as a whole (4%). Here Sakhalin was the only region that showed real growth (by 29%). In most regions, health care spending generally fell, especially in the Jewish Autonomous Region (Yakutia and the Khabarovsk Territory showed little formal growth). The expenditures of the Far Eastern regions on physical education and sports have sharply decreased (by 18%), while in Russia they have grown by 13%. They were cut in half in the Primorsky and Khabarovsk Territories, the Amur Region, although the Jewish Autonomous Region (which does not correspond to trends in other social spheres) and Sakhalin showed a large increase. They began to spend more on culture in the Far Eastern Federal District, but not much (by 7%, in Russia - by 11%). They have more than halved the cost of culture in Primorye, and sharply reduced them in the Amur Region. Although at the same time Kamchatka increased spending on culture by 2,3 times, they increased noticeably in the Magadan region, Sakhalin and Chukotka.

Speaking about spending on social policy itself, it should be noted that in the Far Eastern Federal District they grew by 10%, i.e. did not exceed inflation (in Russia - by 8%). These expenses had to be cut in the Amur Region. On the contrary, the neighboring Jewish Autonomous Region showed an increase of 42% and became the district leader in the payment of benefits, subsidies, etc. (in other social spheres, she did not shine). The Khabarovsk Territory and Sakhalin increased these costs by more than 30%, the Magadan Region by 20%, and Primorye by 17%. In the remaining regions, growth was formal.

Thus, if we talk about socialism, the main positive dynamics was associated with the DFO only with spending on the educational sphere. It is natural that he used most of his opportunities to increase these expenses of Sakhalin, whereas the Amur Region, on the contrary, had to save very much. The trend towards forced savings was also evident in the Jewish Autonomous Region.

Summing up, we note that significant positive dynamics in the budgetary process in the Far Eastern Federal District can be said only in the cases of Sakhalin and Yakutia, where the growing raw materials sector played a key role. On the contrary, Chukotka once again proved its instability, where its own revenues fell, and the center was forced to increase financial assistance. At the same time, due to a reduction in federal aid, the budget of the Amur Region "sagged", which could not compensate for this with its own growth. Budgetary constraints have become noticeable in most regions of the Far Eastern Federal District, with the exception of Sakhalin, which had the happy opportunity to increase spending on all key items. In most regions, spending on housing and communal services and roads became a clear victim of savings, and almost everyone tried to make the social sphere a priority. Nevertheless, there were actually enough funds to improve the situation in education, partly for social assistance, while some social items in some regions also fell victim to savings (in particular, health care). As a result, the Far East can hardly be called a territory of widespread growth, and, on the contrary, it is characterized by serious and growing internal differences, which must be taken into account in state policy in the future.

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