Are you facing higher tax bills in Sweden in 2016?

Are you facing higher tax bills in Sweden in 2016?
How much more could you be paying in taxes next year? Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT
From next year you could be paying more cash to your council – depending on where in Sweden you live – as local authorities including Stockholm plan to raise taxes levied on residents.

15 of Sweden's 290 municipalities have said they are planning to increase taxes from next year, while three county councils are doing the same, a review by public broadcaster SVT showed on Wednesday.

In the Stockholm city area, where residents currently face a 30.53 percent tax rate in the county and municipality combined, the latter is planning a 0.22 kronor ($0.025) hike in taxes in 2016.

This means that for every 100 kronor residents earn, 0.22 kronor will go to the council, boosting its official finances by around 500 million kronor. Simply put, Stockholmers earning 30,000 kronor a month can expect to pay around 50 kronor more in taxes each month in 2016.

The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (Sveriges Kommuner och Landsting, SKL) warned earlier this year that local authorities could be forced to raise taxes in the coming years, due to an ageing population and increasing intake of refugees.

However, most of Sweden's councils are leaving their tax rates unchanged next year, including in the country's second and third biggest cities, Gothenburg and Malmö.

And five municipalities are actually lowering taxes, including four in Stockholm county: Haninge (-0.10 kronor), Salem (-0.25 kronor), Värmdö (-0.05), and Österåker (-0.5 kronor). Östra Göinge in Skåne in southern Sweden is also lowering taxes by 0.12 kronor.

Örebro in central Sweden is planning its first tax hike in more than three decades – raising its residents' contribution to the council's coffers by 0.5 kronor. Officials there have been keen to stress that the increase is not related to the refugee crisis.

“Of course it's a challenge that both Örebro, the whole of Sweden and Europe are facing right now, but that's not what our tax rise is about. What we're undertaking is the biggest welfare investment since the 1960s,” council chairwoman Lena Baastad told SVT.

The ruling centre-left Social Democrat-Green government has already allocated an extra 10 billion grant to be shared between Sweden's municipalities to help them welcome and integrate the 140,000-190,000 asylum seekers expected to arrive in the Nordic nation this year. 

Where in Sweden are taxes going up next year?

Hallsberg: 0.5 (kronor)

Hörby: 0.6

Järfälla: 0.15

Lomma: 0.4

Malung-Sälen: 0.5

Motala: 0.5

Norrköping: 0.5

Oskarshamn: 0.75

Staffanstorp: 0.35

Stockholm: 0.22

Uppsala: 0.3

Vadstena: 1.25

Vindeln: 0.5

Värnamo: 0.4

Örebro: 0.5

Norrbotten county: 1.16

Uppsala county: 0.55

Västernorrland county: at least 0.5

A total of 78 councils did not respond to SVT's survey or said they had not yet made a decision on next year's tax levels.