Local government finance
Resourcing local government remains a central challenge to effective decentralisation. This section has content relating to different models of fiscal decentralisation, options for identifying new sources of local revenue, such as local property tax; and strategies for improving collection and deployment of own-source revenue. It also offers information about improving the borrowing potential of local government, innovative financing models such as municipal bonds, shared services, and public private partnerships.
- Fiscal decentralisation
- Financial management
- Innovative financing models
- Local/own-source revenue generation
- Financing infrastructure
- Public private partnership
- Green finance
- Property tax
A striking feature of local government reform in many Commonwealth countries has been a heavy reliance on structural reform, often in the form of forced local council amalgamation. This paper argues that the long-run success of structural change in local government hinges on several key factors, not least that voluntary rather than compulsory council mergers have a far greater chance of success. A second key ingredient resides in a high degree of local autonomy in both the composition and operation of decentralized governmental functions. A third vital factor lies in ensuring that revenue and tax assignment is sufficient to provide local government with financial autonomy. Finally, adequate powers of taxation need to be accorded to local government and this requires careful consideration of the types of taxes most suited to local government.
Author: Lorenzo Robotti, Brian Dollery Publisher: university of Technology, Sydney Publication year: may 2009
The Routledge Handbook of International Local Government conducts a rigorous, innovative and distinctive analysis of local government within a comparative, international context. Examining the subject matter with unrivalled breadth and depth, this handbook shows how different cultures and countries develop different institutions, structures and processes over time, yet that all have some features in common – the most obvious of which is the recognition that some decisions are better made, some services better delivered, and some engagement with the state better organised if there is structured organisational expression of the importance of the local dimension of all these factors. Thematically organised, it includes contributions from international experts with reference to the wider context in terms of geographies, local government modes, recent developments and possible further lines of research. It has a wide academic appeal internationally and will steer a course between the two dimensions of mono-jurisdictional studies and ‘cataloguing’ forms of comparison.
Table of Contents 1. Local Governments - A Global Presence [Richard Kerley, Joyce Liddle, Pam Dunning] Part I: Elected Roles and Governance 2. Local Electoral Systems [Michael Cole] 3. Local Political Leadership: The Voters or Councillors – Who Chooses Who Governs? [Colin Copus] 4. Traditional Leaders and Local Government in Pacific Island Countries [Graham Hassall and Paul Mae] 5. The Role of the Councillor [Neil McGarvey and Fraser Stewart] 6. The Relationship between Politics and Administration: From Dichotomy to Local Governance Arenas [Alessandro Sancino, Marco Meneguzzo, Alessandro Braga, and Paolo Esposito] 7. Institutionalized Differences in Economic Development Perspectives: A Comparison of City Managers, Mayors and Council Members in Texas [James Vanderleeuw and Melanie Smith] Part II: Local Governments in Different Jurisdictions 8. The Political Salience of Local Government in a Small State [Ann Marie Bissessar] 9. Local Government in the Pacific Islands [Graham Hassall, Matthew Kensen, Rikiaua Takeke, Karibaiti Taoba, and Feue Tipu] 10. Local Government in Latin America – The Struggle to Overcome Social Exclusion [Andrew Nickson] 11. A Turbulent Past, A Turbulent Future? Reform and Disruption in the Local Government of New Zealand [Michael Reid and Michael Macaulay] 12. Constitutional and Legislative Changes in Caribbean Local Government [Eris Schoburgh] Part III: Range of Local Government Services 13. Local Government Service Roles in the U.S.A: Consistency and Change [J. Edwin Benton] 14. Public Entrepreneurship: Is Local Government Necessary to Deliver Economic Development? [Lorraine Johnston and John Fenwick] 15. The Wide Range of Local Government Public Services [Elisabetta Mafrolla] 16. Public Service Delivery in Today’s Georgia [Giorgi Vashakidze] 17. The Provision of Public and Personal Social Services in European Countries: Between Marketization and The Return of the Public/Municipal and Third Sector [Hellmut Wollmann] Part IV: Citizen Engagement 18. Practices and Challenges of Citizen Participation in Local Government: Case Studies of Midsized Cities in Russia and the United States [Sofia Prysmakova-Rivera, Elena Gladun, Thomas Bryer, Andrey Larionov, Dmitry Teplyakov, Olga Teplyakova and Natalia Nosova] 19. The Urban Governance of Austerity in Europe [Adrian Bua, Jonathan Davies, Ismael Blanco, Ioannis Chorianopoulos, Mercè Cortina-Oriol, Andrés Feandeiro, Niamh Gaynor, Steven Griggs, S. David Howarth, and Yuni Salazar] 20. Redressing the Trust Deficit: Local Governments and Citizen Engagement [Jonathan Carr West] 21. Does Mode of Public Outreach Matter? [Sheldon Gen and Erika Luger] 22. Improving Social Development in Brazil through an Open Budget Perspective: Does Collaborative Stakeholder Engagement Matter? [Ricardo Gomes and Welles Abreu] 23. Civic Engagement in Local Politics in Central Europe [Oto Potluka, Judit Kalman, Ida Musialkowska, and Piotr Idczak] Part V: Multi-Level Governance 24. Australia: Challenging Institutional Constraints [Chris Aulich] 25. Local Government Outside Local Boundaries: Rescaling Municipalities, Redesigning Provinces and Local-Level Europeanization [Koenradd De Ceuninck, Tony Valcke and Tom Verhelst] 26. Local Government in the European Union’s Multilevel Polity [Marius Guderjan] 27. Second Thoughts on Second-Order? Towards a Second-Tier Model of Local Government Elections and Voting [Ulrik Kjær and Kristof Steyvers] 28. The Architecture of the Local Political Community: France; Italy; Portugal and Spain [Jaume Magre and Esther Pano] Part VI: Getting and Spending 29. Local Government Anti-Corruption Initiatives in Post-Soviet Georgia and Ukraine: Another Tale of Two Cities [Terry Anderson] 30. Enhancing VFM Audit in Local Government: The Best Value Initiative [Michela Arnaboldi and Irvine Lapsley] 31. Financing and Taxing for Local Government [Kenneth Gibb and Linda Christie] 32. Adapting to the Fiscal Environment: Local Governments, Revenue and Taxation Powers [Mark Sandford] 33. Financing Local Government in the Twenty-First Century: Local Government Revenues in European Member States, 2000 – 2014 [Gerard Turley and Stephen McNena]
Author: Richard Kerley, Joyce Liddle, Pam Dunning Publisher: Routledge Publication year: 2018
Taxing property in a neo-developmental state: The politics of urban land value capture in Rwanda and Ethiopia
Of the African states experiencing sustained growth and poverty reduction in recent decades, Rwanda and Ethiopia stand out due to the scope of their development visions and relatively effective state-driven transformation, leading them to be compared to the East Asian ‘developmental states’. This article argues that these two states are better conceived as ‘neo-developmental’ due to important differences in the international and national constraints they face compared with the East Asian ‘tigers’. One effect of these differences is the difficulty of attracting investment into manufacturing industry, and the consequent concentration of capital in high-end urban real estate. This underscores the need for effective land value capture and property taxation, which featured strongly in the East Asian cases. Currently, however, both Rwanda and Ethiopia lack effective mechanisms for capturing the value of urban property in a way that is sustainable, redistributive and developmental. The article explores the politics of efforts to introduce property tax in both cases. It argues that property taxation has been obstructed by conflicting imperatives on land reform and tax reform, alongside resistance from vested interests created by the rapid generation of real estate-based wealth in the absence of other sufficiently lucrative investment options.
Author: Tom Goodfellow Publisher: African Affairs Publication year: 2017
Should central or local governments be responsible for collection and administration of property taxes? There is great variation in practice across the continent, but one particularly significant divide is that between francophone and anglophone countries. The former commonly adopt centralised systems, while the latter usually decentralise key aspects of property taxation such as collection and administration. This divide has its roots in different modalities of colonial rule, but was exaggerated through the trend towards decentralised governance that took hold in the 1990s, supported by Anglo-American development assistance. However, a number of anglophone African countries have attempted to partially reverse fiscal decentralisation since the late 2000s particularly with respect to collection of the tax. International debate is increasing about which level of government should tax property, but currently there is little by way of an evidence base on the relative benefits of each approach. This policy brief explores some of the strengths and weaknesses of decentralised versus centralised approaches, the incentives they create for government authorities to collect the tax, and some of the political challenges of rearranging central-local relations. It suggests that the question of whether to centralise or decentralise the tax as a whole oversimplifies the problem. Property taxation is made up of a number of distinct processes, some of which may be better situated at national or local government level depending on the context. Before disaggregating property taxation into its key constituent elements, some common general arguments for taxing property at a local versus central level are considered.
Author: Tom Goodfellow Publisher: International Centre for Tax and Development Publication year: 2017