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June 2019 - Public order and security: municipal priorities in 2017

Brussels Institute for Statistics and Analysis (BISA) - Breakdown of normal revenues and expenditures of the municipalities of Brussels

The 19 municipalities of Brussels, which are administrative entities that play an important role in the lives of its citizens, have spent €1,847 and collected €1,971 per inhabitant for their normal functioning in 2017. But what were these sums spent on, and where do these proceeds come from? The answer is given in the graphs below!


Graph 1: breakdown of normal expenditures of the municipalities of Brussels in 2017

Source: GOB – Brussel Local Authorities (municipal accounts)

1/5 of the sums were spent on administrative and general services

More than half of these expenses were used for the three main stations:

  • 20% for administrative and general services: i.e. a total of €377 per inhabitant. More than 1/3 of this amount funds the communal secretariat and close to 1/3 is spent on personnel, buildings and IT services.
  • 19% for public order and security, i.e. €356 per inhabitant. The greater portion of this amount was used to finance police zones.
  • 15% for social security and social assistance, i.e. €280 per inhabitant, essentially used to finance the OCMW.

The remaining smaller half is more varied:

  • 11% of the total sums spent was used for education, i.e. €197 per inhabitant. The sums spent in primary education, i.e. €86 per inhabitant, are twice as much as the moneys used for secondary and pre-school education combined.

  • 9% financed popular education and art, i.e. €157 per inhabitant. Close to half that amount is used for sports, physical education, parks and plants.

  • 6% is allocated to health and hygiene, i.e. €108 per inhabitant. These sums are primarily used to finance healthcare establishments and the disinfection, cleaning, removal and processing of waste.

  • 6% was used for social and family help and employment, i.e. €106 per inhabitant, primarily to finance family help.

  • 4% was spent on communication and road networks, i.e. €73 per inhabitant, substantially on financing infrastructures and roads.

  • 3% finance housing and town planning, i.e. €54 per inhabitant.

  • Finally, 8% fall under the “other spending” category and represent €139 per inhabitant. This category comprises expenses related to places of worship, shops and industrial sites, the public debt, taxes, and insurance, general finances and expenses that cannot be broken down.

In order to spend these sums, the municipalities are funded by the means reported below.

Graph 2: breakdown of normal revenues of the municipalities of Brussels in 2017

Source: GOB – Brussel Local Authorities (municipal accounts)

Close to half of the revenues are tax revenues

In 2017, the distribution of ordinary revenues from the 19 municipalities of Brussels are as follows:

  • 49% are tax revenues, i.e. €972 per inhabitant. Close to 3/5 of this amount come from the additional withholding property tax, 1/5 comes from the additional tax on natural persons and close to 1/5 comes from local taxes (parking spaces, issuing of administrative documents, ad delivery...).
  • 37% are funds and subsidies, i.e. €723 per inhabitant. The general endowment distributed by the Brussels region to the 19 municipalities makes up 2/5 of the funds and subsidies.
  • 1% comes from other transfers, i.e. €16 per inhabitant.
  • 8% are service revenues, i.e.€156 per inhabitant. These revenues in particular come from toll duties, real estate rentals and the intervention of parents in schooling fees.
  • 5% are debt revenues, i.e.€104 per inhabitant.


The data used comes from Brussel Local Authorities that reviews the municipal accounts on a yearly basis.

  • The municipal expenses and revenues are divided as follows:
    • into usual expenses and revenues, which occur at least once in the course of each financial year and ensure the regular operations and income of the municipality;
    • into extraordinary expenses and revenues, that affect directly and in a lasting manner the importance, the value or the preservation of the municipal heritage (example: the construction and sale of school buildings, administrative buildings or places of worship).

In this issue of “In the Spotlight” the terms “expenses” and “revenues” make reference to the ordinary expenses and revenues of the municipalities, without subsidized education. Subsidised education is the transfer of moneys from the Communities for a specific expenditure by the municipalities and does not have an impact on the financial result of the municipality. It is therefore not taken into account in the breakdown of the expenses and revenues.

The expenses and revenues of the 19 municipalities of Brussels are considered globally and summed prior to their breakdown. Furthermore, the amount in € allocated to any category is determined by summing the expenses (or revenues) of the 19 municipalities for this category and then by dividing them by the total number of inhabitants of the Brussels-Capital Region.


 For further information

Find the figures relating to the municipal finances under the theme “Public Finances” on the site of the BISA.