County and city governments across the country have varying levels of debt and their own debt-servicing performance. For more than two years under the leadership of County Magistrate Yang Wen-ke, Hsinchu County has increased its sources of revenue, attracted investments, helped county residents reduce their debt interest through on-lending and interest cutting financial operations, and used big data analysis in its fiscal planning and administrative priorities. Its multi-pronged approach has resulted in the repayment of NT$5 billion in public debt, achieving the top debt reduction ratio in the country. It has also repaid NT$ 5.247 billion in self-liquidating debt. The two total debt repayments amounted to NT$10.247 billion, igniting the attention of the country with its 45.40% ratio.
Hsinchu County Magistrate Yang Wen-ke believes that a responsible government should not leave its debts to the next generation. Hsinchu County must have sound finances through efficient financial management. Only then can it vigorously promote construction and development, fulfill the goal of caring for the elderly, the middle-aged, the youths and the young, and become the most livable, cultural, technological and smart city in Taiwan. As the helmsman of Hsinchu County, he is duty-bound to ensure that Hsinchu County can take off with science and technology unfettered by debts.
The Hsinchu County Finance Department pointed out that after taking office, Magistrate Yang Wen-ke has tried every means to increase revenue and reduce expenditure. In addition to actively attracting investments, he has successfully promoted projects such as the multi-level parking garage on Ziqiang 7th Street in Zhubei City BOT project, International AI Smart Park investments, and urban renewal in the county. Furthermore, revenue generating projects, such as the joint development of state-owned land; the Taiwan Knowledge-based Economy Flagship Park; and the Stage Three development of the Hsinchu Science Park, have also increased revenue for the county treasury.
In terms of cost reduction, County Magistrate Yang Wen-ke relied on financial operations such as on-lending to reduce interest rates, and negotiated rates with various banks and cooperatives. As a result, nearly NT$70 million in debt interest payment is saved every year to avoid waste of tax money paid by county residents. In 2019, it ranked first in the nation in its annual accounts balance; and in 2020, it set the county record with its balance of NT$5.383 billion in its annual accounts.
Moreover, in terms of financial planning, County Magistrate Yang Wen-ke appointed a professional team from the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research for the Hsinchu County 10-Year Financial Status Analysis and Planning. Using scientific methods and big data analysis, the county’s fiscal revenue for the next ten years is predicted to assess administrative priority and plan an ideal governance blueprint.