Richard Mueller secretly flies by Richard Müller

Top-class panelists, opposing opinions.

The SPD had invited to a discussion about the maintenance or abolition of the road contribution statute (STRABS) in the pub at the open air museum. Background: 2 years ago the Bavarian State Parliament decided to modify the STRABS. B. be billed separately in a street, or in a district and with annually recurring fees. These sums, which are often horrific in individual cases, can then be spread over several years. This decision of the state parliament was made with the votes of all parties.

The Free Voters with their chairman Hubert Aiwanger are now questioning this, calling for the complete abolition of the STRABS and making it a campaign topic for next year's state elections. According to statistics in Bavaria, STRABS brings about 60 million euros in income for the municipalities, that is 0.2% of the Bavarian state budget. Every citizen of the Free State would have to pay the equivalent of € 11.50 per year. Of course, the other parties are not at all happy with this current issue, and the CSU in particular must fear that its goal of regaining an absolute majority is becoming a long way off.

MdL Scheuenstuhl opened the meeting, after which various speakers had the floor. Scheuenstuhl is an absolute supporter of STRABS.

Volkmar Halbib, parliamentary manager of the SPD parliamentary group: In Lower Franconia over 90% of the municipalities have the STRABS, in Mfr. over 70%, in Lower Bavaria only 40%. For reasons of equality, the STRABS should be introduced everywhere; by the way, this has long been a legal requirement. The FW were clearly criticized for their swing.

Reinhold Klein, The mayor of Sugenheim, ironically a member of the Free Voters, fights passionately against the official party line for the retention of the STRABS. While the demand for investments is at least slowed down by the financial participation of the residents, Klein fears that claims and demands will get out of hand after the abolition of the STRABS, because it would then no longer cost the residents anything. For reasons of justice, too, the STRABS had to be retained because those citizens who were previously asked to pay would be blatantly disadvantaged. Klein pointed out that, as mayor, he would never send contributions notices before an election, as that could jeopardize re-election. The introduction of a STRABS had already caused many mayors to lose their elections.

Manfred Merz, CSU Mayor in Aurach, burned STRABS child, previously treasurer in Bad Windsheim, Neustadt / Aisch and Unterschleißheim, also has STRABS in his Aurach community and is also a strong supporter, although the reckless endorsement in the 1996 mayor election in Bad Windsheim had caused the narrow defeat against Wolfgang Eckardt. Merz is also for reasons of justice for the retention. Merz doubted the official figures after the STRABS would bring in only about 60 million across Bavaria. Merz justified the fact that Baden-Württemberg managed without STRABS with the different tax system there. In BW, every single road is subsidized by the state.

Mayor Henninger from Flachslanden, ironically also a member of the Free Voters, is an absolute opponent of STRABS and will not introduce it in his community. Henninger also fears problems of justice, but exactly the other way around. After all, he could not explain to his citizens why they would have to pay immediately if others had still got their street for free a few years earlier. Henninger asked MdL Scheuenstuhl why he hadn't introduced STRABS during his long time mayor in Wilhermsdorf when he was such a strong supporter. Scheuenstuhl tried to explain this with windy arguments, which he failed to do amid the laughter of the audience.

District Administrator Helmut Weiß criticized that now, a year before the state elections, this hot topic would be cheered for populist reasons. Please wait for the state elections first and then after that approach the problem calmly. Weiß explained that he would be forced to insist on the introduction of the STRABS for the state part of the district office, especially if the approval of the households showed that increased borrowing would be necessary due to the non-introduction of the STRABS. This brought him, through a heckler, the accusation that he, Weiss, would act as a party soldier and with law-abiding ruthlessness.

Various panelists then mainly introduced counter-arguments. The catchphrase, property obliges, could not apply to STRABS. Firstly, the municipalities are the owners of the roads and, secondly, the owners of the cars and other vehicles are also obliged to contribute their share of the road construction costs. All speakers pointed out the often enormous problems of justice that STRABS would cause. The chairman of the citizens' initiative against STRABS from Nuremberg announced demonstrations at CSU events.

Consensus: All participants in the discussion agreed that nothing would stand in the way of abolishing the STRABS if other financial compensation were then created for the municipalities. The Free State of Bavaria is then required here.

That shouldn't be a big problem either, because millions are almost no longer a size these days. Sometimes a few billions are spent here on economic refugees, sometimes a few billion there pointlessly, since this rather small amount of millions can be easily made otherwise without major problems. 1 billion = 1,000 million.

City councilors Heckel, Koslowski, Dehner and Krebelder were present from Bad Windsheim. The former SPD district chairman and district administrator candidate Norbert Kirsch, as the current research assistant at Mdl Scheuenstuhl, was busily out and about in the hall, he no longer seems to feel compelled to go into sackcloth.

My forecast: The new CSU Prime Minister Söder will cash in on the STRABS issue before the election because the CSU simply cannot afford to lose thousands of votes because of this emotional issue.

Shortly before Christmas they had a surprise ready, there were sausages with cabbage, a drink was free and that with a second helping, so sausages and cabbage to follow up on. Incredible, but really true !!