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.



Living City Initiative - A new pilot project for urban regeneration

The Living City Initiative is a targeted pilot tax incentive which aims to seek to address this issue in two ways by focusing on: 1. encouraging people back to the centre of Irish cities to live in historic buildings 2. encouraging the regeneration of the retail heartland of central business districts. The Initiative will provide tax incentives for works performed to refurbish residential and retail buildings either to bring them up to a habitable standard or even to make improvements to buildings which are currently inhabited. The incentives will be targeted at owner/occupiers rather than property developers.

Author: Department of Finance Publisher: Government of Ireland Publication year: 2016

Governance lessons from public-private partnerships: examining two cases in the Greater Ottawa Region

Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance, Issue 15/16, June 2015 This paper is concerned with studying the administrative and democratic effects of PPP procurement involved in the realisation of two PPP projects in the Greater Ottawa region: Gatineau’s Robert-Guertin Arena and Ottawa’s Lansdowne Park. First, the paper reviews the theory regarding PPPs and democratic municipal governance. Second, it proposes a normative framework of good governance in the municipal sector, tailor-made to infrastructure matters. Third, it analyses the decision-making process and contractual agreements of both projects in order to identify key issues regarding infrastructure PPPs in municipalities. It concludes by drawing lessons from the analysis of the two projects and discussing the potential implications of our findings.

Author: Joshua Jebuntie Zaato, Pierre-André Hudon Publisher: CLGF/University of Technology, Sydney Publication year: 2015

Local government finance: challenges in revenue-raising at the Municipal Corporation of Delhi

Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance, Issue 15/16, June 2015 The main objective of this paper is to examine the extent to which the capital city of Delhi has gained financial autonomy over the years. In order to better understand its progress, the paper compares the periods before and after the submission of the Third State Finance Commission Report of Delhi. The main findings suggest there have been some efforts to reduce reliance on transfers from upper tiers of government and to strengthen ‘own revenues’ at the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD). A greater diversification of tax and non-tax revenue sources is responsible for this improvement. In the second period, other tax sources such as corporation tax and electricity tax gained in importance. Non-tax revenues were also strengthened by higher collection of certain components such as conversion charges. However, own revenues have been inadequate to meet growing expenditure requirements, resulting in high revenue expenditure gaps. Further, the growth in Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP has not led to a rise in own revenues for MCD. Rather, the paper finds that higher GSDP and its tertiary sector components are associated with higher expenditures in MCD. As far as local revenues are concerned, higher GSDP is associated with higher transfers, but has no discernible impact on own revenues.

Author: Simanti Bandyopadhyay Publisher: CLGF/University of Technology, Sydney Publication year: 2015

Determinants of property rate default: evidence from the Ashanti Region, Ghana

This study seeks to assess the determinants of property rates default in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. A multi-stage sampling technique was used to study 540 respondents from one municipal and five district assemblies within the region. A structured questionnaire collected data from the sampled respondents. Descriptive statistics (means, frequency distribution and percentages) and the probit regression model were then used to analyse the data with the help of SPSS and STATA respectively. The study found that most respondents who default are not aware of their obligation to pay property rates, and those who are aware fail to pay because they don’t know where to go to pay, or think the rate is too high. The study also revealed that a demographic characteristic such as income level, property value and property location influences rates of default. The study recommends raising awareness about the need to pay property rates and the penalty for any default.

Author: Dadson Awunyo-Vitor, Eric Oduro Osae, Sterling Donani Publisher: CLGF/University of Technology, Sydney Publication year: 2015

The local government system in Botswana

Botswana is a democratic republic with a two-tier system of government: central government is headed by the president, and local government headed by a mayor in towns/cities and a council chairperson in rural districts. There is no constitutional provision for local government the main legislative text is the Local Government Act 2012. The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development is charged with providing policy direction and guidance. Local government comprises 16 administrative districts (ten rural, six urban). Under thee there are 20 sub-districts including four administrative authorities. Governance at local level is also based on a traditional system of villages headed by a kgosi (chief). This traditional system works cooperatively with the district councils. Although councils have legal powers to collect certain taxes, levies and fees, central government provides over 90% of their total recurrent revenue. Statutory council functions include provision of primary education, infrastructure,tertiary and access roads, health and sanitation, economic and physical development, collection and management of waste, and general maintenance of law and order.

Publisher: CLGF

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