Between 200,000 and 300,000 residents live permanently in Prague without a registered permanent residence, which means that the city loses 7.5 billion crowns a year in taxes. Prague Deputy Mayor Pavel Vyhnánk (Praha Sobě) told journalists today. According to a survey commissioned by the municipality, these are usually young, single, childless and university-educated people. According to Vyhnánek, the city should motivate them to register their stay.
Vhnánek, in cooperation with the Institute of Planning and Development (IPR), had the agency ppm factum conduct an online survey on a sample of 2,200 respondents, whose aim was to find out who the typical unregistered person is and how to motivate them to change their address.
“The investigation confirmed a certain assumption that we had, but which was not based on any verifiable facts,” said the deputy.
He added that according to the results of the survey, a typical resident without a permanent residence in the metropolis is a young person who came to study and settled in Prague after school.
Vhnánek added that 54 percent of those interviewed without a permanent residence are also considering reporting their residence in the next five years, which is an opportunity for the city to target them with a campaign or incentive programs.
“If they targeted this group and managed to convince them, we could reach about 4.5 billion kroner a year,” he said.
According to him, the city could motivate people who opt out by, for example, financial incentives for services such as public transport, parking, waste collection or entry to Prague attractions, or even a one-time financial reward.
Possibilities of negative motivation include, for example, preventing the use of public services. “I would definitely lean towards the positive motivators if the city decided to actively reach out to citizens,” Vyhnánek added.
He himself will no longer propose concrete steps before the autumn elections. “There is no more space for that until the elections, we wouldn’t be able to do that,” he said. He added that the next city administration will have all the materials ready for the eventual creation of well-targeted campaigns and programs.
The deputy went on to say that this is a general problem. “I know that a number of larger cities struggle with having significantly more residents than they report,” he said. According to him, with regard to the way taxes are distributed to municipalities, it is essential that people have a registered permanent residence where they actually live, so that cities can finance public services.
According to him, the change of residence is no longer a difficult exchange, and one has to go to the office only for the identity card and, in the case of car owners, the technical license.
The rest can then be resolved by phone or online. At the same time, the absence of a permanent residence brings disadvantages, for example from the point of view of the paid parking zone, school and school enrollment or the possibility of applying for housing allowance.
IPR recently published an analysis that was based on anonymized data from mobile operators. According to that, there are about 300,000 more people living in Prague instead of the official 1.3 million.
However, according to Vyhnánek, there will be a little less of those who really live in the city permanently, because data operators also include those who are in the metropolis for work, perhaps only for a year.
According to the data CZSO approximately 1.28 million people lived in Prague as of December 31, 2021, which was 1.3 percent more. Last year, 15,993 people came. The increase was mostly caused by people moving to Prague.
The average age of the inhabitants of Prague was the lowest in the country and amounted to 41.4 years, which is 1.3 years less than the national average. Among Prague residents, there were the most people with a university degree, and the largest number of foreigners also lived in the metropolis.