Americas \ 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
Cities across Canada face an enormous infrastructure deficit. From 100-year-old water mains to transit systems in vital need of upgrading and expansion, Canadian infrastructure is widely recognized to be in dire straits. And while the majority of Canadians elected a new government that was prepared to run a deficit to fund infrastructure, these funds alone will not cover the investments needed. Local governments need to make significant financial investments, too, and must raise revenues through taxes, user fees, and possibly new revenue tools. But before they can take these actions, they have to build trust to convince their residents that new revenues are needed and will be spent wisely. What does it mean to build trust? This paper examines the notion of trust and how governments can build it using: • Good information: relevant data made accessible to citizens and attractively packaged to enhance transparency; • Good communications: good stories that are well told, with relevant information distributed through a variety of channels (using open government tools and techniques); • Good engagement: inclusive and meaningful opportunities for dialogue about policy decisions to build the continuum of trust (using a variety of mechanisms); • Credibility: building an effective track record and controlling costs (through better performance benchmarking and other approaches); • Earmarking of funds: creating a dedicated fund that clearly links revenues raised to specific expenditures, and regularly reporting on the progress of projects funded. This research shows that there are concrete and practical steps that cities can take to build fiscal trust – but there are no shortcuts. Trust-building is a long-term proposition that takes resources. Cities must invest the time and dedicate the resources to build trust through all of the steps outlined, and continue to do so as part of their regular activities.
Author: Dina Graser and Pamela Robinson Publisher: http://munkschool.utoronto.ca/imfg/imfg-perspectives-paper-how-can-local-governments-build-public-trust/ Publication year: 2016
Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through decentralisation and the role of local governments: a systematic review
This paper is about the role of local democracy and governance to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs). Increased reliance on locally generated revenue, difficulties in managing networks of actors with diverse goals and objectives, imperfect flow of information, and trust deficit in stakeholders pose major challenges to achieving SDGs locally. By doing a systematic review of the recent literature on decentralisation with examples from different local governments, the paper outlines ways in which these challenges could be addressed. The paper also highlights the need for enhancing local leadership capabilities and demarcation of responsibilities among local politicians and bureaucrats, a point missed in the SDG agenda.
Author: Joydeep Guha, Bhaskar Chakrabarti Publisher: Commonwealth Journal of Local Government Publication year: 2019
This report – an outcome of an expert group meeting held on the challenge of local government financing in developing countries – documents both the challenges and solutions related to the ability of local governments to mobilize revenues from local resources. The report also identifies successful governance mechanisms for efficient and equitable provision of public services in metropolitan areas of developing countries, and shares experiences and methods to making public service provision more viable in peri-urban areas of large cities and in smaller urban centres of these countries.
Author: United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) Publisher: United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) Publication year: 2015
This book reviews lessons learned about intergovernmental relations, metropolitan finance, financial management, revenues management, expenditures management, public assets management, external funding, and municipal finances performance measurement. It spans the arc from decentralization to transparency and accountability and travels the less-charted waters of assets management, creditworthiness, response to financial crisis, reporting mechanisms to various levels of government and civil representation.
Author: The World Bank Publisher: The World Bank Publication year: 2014
Local Government Finance: The Challenges of the 21st Century, Second Global Report on Decentralization and Local Democracy
This report builds on the 2008 First Global Report on Decentralization and Local Democracy (GOLD I), which provides a broad based overview of local government systems around the world. GOLD II focuses on a specific aspect of decentralization—the fiscal architecture and performance of local governments. This topic was chosen for GOLD II because fiscal architecture is fundamental to ensuring that local governments can deliver public services and function successfully in meeting other essential responsibilities.
Author: United Cities and Local Governments Publisher: United Cities and Local Governments Publication year: 2010