Rio Grande do Norte recorded an 84.5% increase in personnel expenses and charges in the comparison between the first eight months of 2018 and the same period this year. In absolute numbers, the increase was R$4.1 billion, surpassing the growth in current revenues of 66.68% and the net current revenue for personnel expenses of 66.20%. Investments, in turn, fell 47.64% in the period analyzed. The data comes from the Brazilian Public Sector Accounting and Tax Information System (Siconfi), maintained by the National Treasury, and served as the basis for analysis carried out by the Federation of State Industries (Fiern) and passed on to TRIBUNA DO NORTE.
According to the data, current revenues in Rio Grande do Norte increased by approximately R$5.6 billion. Despite the growth, the State Government plans to maintain the 20% tax rate on the Circulation of Goods and Services (ICMS) for 2024. In response to the TRIBUNA DO NORTE report, the Finance Secretariat (Sefaz) stated that the purpose is avoid a deficit in revenue next year and possible losses arising from tax reform.
According to the ministry, the proposal to maintain the rate was sent for consideration in the Legislative Assembly (ALRN) and the expectation is that the approval of the measure can compensate for the losses caused by laws 192/22 and 194/22. While the first determined the application of ICMS rates at the lowest level (17% or 18%) on fuels, electricity, communications and public transport, the second established the single-time incidence of ICMS. If maintenance is not carried out, the estimate is that the State will have a deficit of R$700 million in revenue in 2024.
Sefaz states that the losses that began in 2022, even after the state decree that raised the rate from 18% to 20% in April this year, continued to occur. Allied to this, the tax changes foreseen in the tax reform, which abolishes the ICMS and the Service Tax (ISS) at the state and municipal levels and creates the Goods and Services Tax (IBS) to be shared between both spheres of power, also motivated the change. If it maintained the rate percentage at 18%, states the ministry, Rio Grande do Norte would have a smaller share in the single sharing percentage.
The State Government’s proposal to increase the ICMS modal rate for 2024 from 18% to 20% will be discussed with the productive sector and representatives of the State Government next Tuesday (7), at 9 am, in the Constitution and Justice of the Legislative Assembly of Rio Grande do Norte.
Gross revenue has grown in the last 4 years
Data from the Transparency Portal of Rio Grande do Norte, in turn, point to increases in gross revenue in the last four years. In 2019, as the data shows, the value was R$14.3 billion. In 2022, the value rose to almost R$20 billion.
The positive variation, however, also remained in committed expenses, which went from R$11.6 billion to R$15.5 billion. From January to October this year, the amount collected is R$16.4 billion, while State expenses are R$13.9 billion.
“Our obstacle is precisely the State’s investment capacity. The State invests, per year, less than it collects per month. So, there is a frustrated investment capacity and this leads to the entire infrastructure scenario that does not offer the opportunity for industries to perform well”, said the president of Fiern, Roberto Serquiz, in an interview with Jovem Pan News radio. Christmas last week.
For the president of Fiern, the lack of investment is reflected in important areas for industries and is in points such as the Port of Natal, state highways and Aluízio Alves Airport. In his assessment, these problems cause Rio Grande do Norte to lose competitiveness compared to other states in the Northeast.
The TRIBUNA DO NORTE report questioned Sefaz about what led to the 84.5% increase in personnel expenses and charges and what has been done to accommodate this demand. Furthermore, he questioned the department about the 47.64% reduction in investments, which were the areas most affected by the drop and whether the decrease occurred to cover personnel expenses and charges, but had not received a return by the time this edition was closed.
As shown by data from the National Treasury Secretariat (STN), Rio Grande do Norte has the highest payroll commitment with personnel expenses (DTP) in Brazil. In the State, within the period from August 2021 to August 2023, expenses reached 57.76%, a percentage that exceeds the maximum limit of the relationship between DTP and Net Current Revenue (RCL), referring to civil servants’ salaries, provided for by Law of Fiscal Responsibility. According to the standard, 46.55% corresponds to the prudential limit and 44.1% to the alert number.
Summary table of total balances
RCL for Personnel Expenses
Personnel and social charges
**Current Revenues correspond to the sum of what the State collects (tax revenues) + State Participation Fund – FPE (which represents the transfer from the Union). From this sum, the mandatory transfer from the State to the municipalities (FUNDEB and part of the ICMS) is subtracted.