Cantons & Municipalities
The federalist state structures in Switzerland differ from those in our neighbouring countries primarily in the extensive tax collection powers of the cantons and municipalities (financial autonomy) and the pronounced right of voters to have a say (referendum). Furthermore, public accounting in Switzerland has been based on double-entry bookkeeping for over 30 years. As a rating agency, we have been issuing cantonal and municipal ratings for over 15 years.
The federalist state structures are in a state of constant change. The sharp increase in municipal mergers is visible proof of this. Other keywords are the new accounting standards HRM 2 and IPSAS, the reform of communal financial equalisation systems in numerous cantons, or the increasing transfer of cantonal tasks to the municipalities. After a number of failures in municipal financing over the past decade, the pressure on public financial budgets is tending to increase again. There is a need to catch up on investments in many areas of infrastructure due to the strong population growth. At the same time, public revenues will suffer from the implementation of the OECD standards for corporate taxation, but also, for example, from the limitation period for loss certificates for outstanding tax claims, which will begin to run out in 2017.