IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Local Authorities Taxation Autonomy and its Role in Assessing the Financial Aspects of Decentralization


  • Pressiyana Nenkova


Fiscal decentralization necessitates the finding of solutions to a number of issues such as what amount of expenditure-related responsibility should be devolved to local authorities, what degree of taxation autonomy should local self-government organs be provided with, what fiscal tools should be used in order to offset the difference between local revenue and expenditure, etc. This paper shows that the various quantitative measurements used to establish the degree of decentralization (the share of local revenue/expenditure within the consolidated national revenue/expenditure statement or within GDP) are sometimes misleading with regard to the drawing of conclusions as to whether or not local authorities lack autonomy. It is emphasized that a proper indicator for assessing the financial aspects of decentralization is the degree of tax autonomy. The latter provides general information not only about the share and relative rank of local tax revenues in the total local income, but also about the power of local authorities to set tax rates and bases. A comparative analysis is made of Bulgaria and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, as well as some EU countries, based on several indicators of the degree of decentralization and tax autonomy. Some general trends are identified as well as the reasons why Bulgaria is lagging behind with respect to certain indicators.

Suggested Citation

  • Pressiyana Nenkova, 2003. "Local Authorities Taxation Autonomy and its Role in Assessing the Financial Aspects of Decentralization," Economic Thought journal, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Economic Research Institute, issue 5, pages 39-52.
  • Handle: RePEc:bas:econth:y:2003:i:5:p:39-52

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Fee access

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bird, Richard M., 1993. "Threading the Fiscal Labyrinth: Some Issues in Fiscal Decentralization," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 46(2), pages 207-27, June.
    2. de Mello, Luiz Jr, 2000. "Fiscal Decentralization and Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations: A Cross-Country Analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 365-380, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bas:econth:y:2003:i:5:p:39-52. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Diana Dimitrova). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.