Cameroon is a parliamentary republic with two levels of government, central and local. Constitutional provision is made for both levels. The main laws governing local government are Laws No. 17, 18 and 19 of 2004 on decentralisation, councils and regions respectively. The Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation is responsible for government policy on territorial administration and local government. There are 374 local governments consisting of 315 councils, 14 city councils and 45 district councils. Local councils are empowered to levy taxes and charges including direct council taxes, cattle tax and licences. The most important mechanism for revenue-sharing is the 10% additional council tax levy on national taxes, of which 70% goes to the councils. All councils have similar responsibilities and powers for service delivery, except in the biggest cities, where responsibilities and powers are shared between the city council and the district council. Council responsibility for service delivery includes utilities, town planning, health, social services and primary education.
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