Commonwealth Local Government Forum

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.

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Planning for the Public Benefit in the Entrepreneurial City: Public Land Speculation and Financialized Regulation

The redevelopment of Barangaroo, Sydney’s last vacant central city waterfront site, raised high expectations for the public benefits developers would provide in return. The story highlights the ways in which the entrepreneurial State’s conflict of interest in the redevelopment eroded the quality of the public benefits negotiated in return for a valuable public asset. In contrast to the previous redevelopment projects, the State used public land and its newly centralized regulatory powers to maximize public revenues from Barangaroo, prioritizing these over both the public’s interests and, on occasion, those of private developers.

Author: Heather MacDonald Publisher: Journal of Planning Education and Research Publication year: 2019


Improving subnational government development finance in emerging and developing economies: toward a strategic approach

Considerable attention has been given to enhancing subnational development finance in response to the 2008 global financial crisis and recent global development agendas, including the Sustainable Development Goals, Financing for Development, and Habitat III/New Urban Agenda. Much work on this topic is fragmented, focusing on specific elements of development finance: fiscal transfers, capital market access, public-sector lending agencies, or public-private partnerships. Most countries, however, have a range of subnational governments with varying needs and capacities that require different and evolving mixes of development finance mechanisms. Enabling greater subnational borrowing is often desirable but requires adoption of other reform policies to improve the fiscal capacity and creditworthiness of subnational governments over time. This paper reviews the rationale and potential for improving subnational development finance, outlines the overall landscape of institutional arrangements available for this purpose, and considers broad challenges involved. Based on a review of global practice and experience in selected Asian developing countries with a range of special entities and innovations to enhance subnational investment, it proposes a more integrated, strategic approach to building subnational development finance.

Author: Paul Smoke Publisher: Asian Development Bank Publication year: 2019


Contracting Out Services in the Nigerian Local Government: Implications for Internal Revenue Generation

The primary reasons for creating the Nigerian local government system was grassroots mobilization and development. The Council has however, consistently failed to provide critical services to the rural poor ostensibly because of poor funding. The work examined the structure, functions and accountability mechanisms of the Council vis-à-vis its revenue generation capacity. The problem identified is that the Council contracts out services and its statutory revenue sources at ridiculous prices to patrons even in the face of fiscal cutback and burgeoning demand from the critical populace. Using the Local Government Discretion and Accountability Diagnostic Framework of Analysis and Financial Agency Theory, the paper found that lack of political, administrative and financial accountability mechanisms provides the leeway for unscrupulous Council officials to grossly enrich themselves and their patrons. The paper recommends that the Public Procurement Act which emphasizes Due Process in tendering should be institutionalized by the local government. The anti-graft agencies should be repositioned to deal with treasury looters while the electoral process should be reformed to make it more transparent and inclusive.

Author: Johnson Emeka Nwofia Publisher: International Journal of Social Science Studies Publication year: 2018


Mining in Africa : Are Local Communities Better Off?

his study focuses on the local and regional impact of large-scale gold mining in Africa in the context of a mineral boom in the region since 2000. It contributes to filling a gap in the literature on the welfare effects of mineral resources, which, until now, has concentrated more on the national or macroeconomic impacts. Economists have long been intrigued by the paradox that a rich endowment of natural resources may retard economic performance, particularly in the case of mineral-exporting developing countries. Studies of this phenomenon, known as the “resource curse,” examine the economy-wide consequences of mineral exports. Africa’s resource boom has lifted growth, but has been less successful in improving people’s welfare. Yet much of the focus in academic and policy circles has been on appropriate management of the macro-fiscal and governance risks that have historically undermined development outcomes. This study focuses instead on the fortune of local communities where resources are located. It aims to better inform public policy and corporate behavior on the welfare of communities in Africa in which the extraction of resources takes place.

Author: Punam Chuhan-Pole, Andrew L Dabalen, Bryan Christopher Land Publisher: World Bank Publication year: 2017


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