In 2022, under the national financial equalisation mechanism, 6 cantons will transfer some of their tax revenue to Switzerland’s 20 other cantons.
Switzerland’s cantons have very different tax bases, costs and tax rates. Taxes in Switzerland are comprised of federal taxes, cantonal taxes and municipal taxes. Federal taxes are the same across all of Switzerland. However, cantonal and municipal taxes range significantly.
Before 2008, all of the cantonal taxes raised by a canton were spent there. In 2008, this changed. Now every year rich cantons have to give some of their tax revenue to poorer cantons under a system know as the péréquation financière nationale or Finanzausgleich.
In 2022, a total of CHF 5.3 billion will be paid to 20 cantons. CHF 3.6 billion of this will be funded from federal tax revenue and CHF 1.7 billion will be funded directly by 6 cantons. The total figure is 1.7% higher than in 2021.
The biggest recipients will be Bern (+936 million), Valais (+799), Fribourg (+537), Aargau (+482) and Solothurn (+407 million). Vaud will receive CHF 115 million. Only 6 cantons will pay, which include Zurich (-493 million), Zug (-328), Schwytz (-200), Geneva (-151), Basel-City (-70) and Nidwalden (-39 million).
The amounts paid and received are based on the financial resources and costs of each canton. Cantons with strong tax bases and low costs get hit hardest. For example Zug gets hit with a charge of CHF 329 million because of its strong tax base but only gets compensated by CHF 2 million for its cost base. Other cantons like Geneva have both high tax bases and a high cost structure. Geneva claws back CHF 158 million of its CHF 304 million charge because of its costly sociodemographic structure. Mountainous cantons like Valais (+74 million) and Graubunden (+137 million) get extra money because of their topographical disadvantages.
On a per capita basis the taxpayers of Zug and Schwytz are hit the hardest. Per capita payments there in 2022 will be CHF 2,594 and CHF 1,268. Per capita payments in Nidwalden (906), Basel-City (356), Zurich (327) and Geneva (303) will be lower.
On a per capita basis the residents of Valais (CHF 2,297), Jura (2,193), Uri (1,722), Fribourg (1,705) and Glaris (1,597) will get the biggest boosts.