City discusses tax reform
Tax reform is very much a subject of debate in Tallinn and across Estonia. To this end, the local government conference “Tax policy- a motor for regional development” took place on the 13 November.
The keynote speaker was Tallinn’s mayor Taavi Aas.
“The local government’s capability to fulfil its set tasks depends on tax policy choices and getting independent investment with a fair tax policy will be one of the key issues in 2018 election,” Aas explained.
The conference brought together local government leaders from the provinces and other towns and cities in the country.
Aas pointed out that local governments have their own independent level of power and this should be reflected in financial strength.
The other keynote speaker at the conference was the minister of public administration Janek Mäggi. Mäggi concentrated on sustainable tax policies as one of the keystones of regional development.
Tartu University economist, Viktor Trasberg, assessed the current state of Estonian tax policy.
Henrik Rainio, Financial Director of Finland’s Local and Regional Authorities shared his experiences of Finnish tax policy and its implementation at a regional level.
The EU member of the Committee of the Regions, Uno Silberg, talked about the development of the EU budget.
One of the key themes that came out of the conference was how tax reforms might be used to improve infrastructure or services affected by the taxes rather than simply as an additional source of revenue for the local government. The proposed city tax of hotels bed nights could improve sightseeing spots and the environment attracting more visitors to the city thereby creating a virtuous circle.
Since 2009, the local government conference has brought together municipality figures, experts and other people who are interested in the interest of the towns and municipalities of Estonia, in order to discuss the issues of local life.
World biggest Robotics Expo comes to Tallinn
Tallinn is hosting Robotex International, the world’s largest robotics festival where thousands of engineers and executives will showcase their latest inventions at a festival exhibition.
The Robotex International EXPO takes place from 30 November to 2 December.
Robotics companies will present high tech cutting edge robots, from self-driving cars which can deliver packages to unmanned aircraft equipment used for intelligence collection and surveillance.
Threod Systems Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are made in Estonia and deployed by NATO forces in combat situations around the World. A Stream tactical UAV can fly up to 3 km and spot a moving vehicle from 15 kilometres away whilst itself remaining invisible.
The festival will feature competitive events. Starship Technologies will host Starship Animal Rescue — which has a 10 000 euro prize. This competition aims to program a robot to rescue urban pets.
XPRIZE will run their ANA Avatar XPRIZE idea hackathon to build avatars designed to handle disaster relief. This competition gives participants the chance to become a part of the global ANA Avatar XPRIZE competition. Prize money is 10 million Euro.
In the Entrepreneurial Challenge, participants will get the opportunity to showcase their working prototype within the realms of robotics and AI.
The Robotex International EXPO is a real chance to see what’s happening in the industry, both professionals, amateurs and just people who are interested in robotics.
The festival is sponsored by the city of Tallinn and Tallinn city’s department of enterprise.
Photo competition to show Tallinn in the centenary year
A competition to find the best photograph that document life and experiences in Tallinn in 2018 is set to launch in December.
The goal of the competition is to find the moments places and people that captured the experiences of Tallinners in the centenary year.
Any photograph taken in the 2018 up until January 2019 is valid. The conditions of the concert can be found on the homepage http://fotokonkurss.tallinn.
Applications can be put forward from 2 December 2018 until 15 January 2019. All works must meet contest conditions, which will be publicized in 16 January 2019. From 16-21 January there will be a public vote. A commission will select the winner and the result of the public vote will be revealed on the contest’s homepage.
Every individual participant in the contest can load up to four photographs. Photographs can be loaded separately.
The contest will be evaluated by a commission appointed by the head of the communal services office.
The winning contestant will get a prize of a Nikon D35000 KIT AF-P 18 -55 mm VR digital camera which can record photographs with rich detail and has Full HD video.
The winner of the public vote will get a gift card of 50 Euros. The contest is organised by Tallinn communal services office.
Christmas Tree and Christmas Market
Tallinn Christmas Market opened its stage and sales kiosks this year on November 16.
The first Christmas tree ever in the World was put up in Tallinn in 1441.
In recent years, the Tallinn Christmas Market has become famous international. The city’s rustic feel old time feel, Tallinn Old Town has many buildings from the medieval ages. Estonia usually experiences a white Christmas and snow is expected this December.
This year half a million people are expected to the visit the Christmas market.
There will be a host of cultural programmes for the Christmas which include everything from petting reindeer to outdoor ice skating. Watch this space for more news of event this Christmas in Tallinn.