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Environmental taxation and municipal fiscal federalism: remarks and perspectives on the Italian case study

Listed author(s):
  • Andrea Zatti
  • Fiorenza Carraro

The debate around green fiscal reform has been going on for more than 20 years in Europe. However, to this day the focus has been mainly (or almost completely) concentrated on national fiscal systems, while the local dimension has been largely ignored. Environmental taxes, or at least some of them - final energy consumption taxes, car registration and circulation taxes, construction fees, park and road pricing, charges on tourism, land use and occupation fees - are strongly interrelated to the territorial context and, accordingly, can represent a promising tool to make citizens and city users pay for the services they benefit from or for the external effects they generate. From a multilevel governance perspective, whenever a process of fiscal decentralisation is going on or planned, major attention can be directed to the opportunity to fill in the fiscal gap, at least to some extent, through a major recourse to environmentally related taxes. The expected results (dividends) would not just be in terms of a less distortionary fiscal system, but also of a more transparent and accountable model of financing for local expenditures and functions. The paper provides a preliminary assessment on this subject, focusing mainly on the Italian experience. The categorization of environmental taxes and their quantitative analysis show how no specific attention has currently been given to the local dimension and how major research efforts still have to be done to better investigate their potential role in the context of decentralisation processes.

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Article provided by FrancoAngeli Editore in its journal ECONOMICS AND POLICY OF ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT.

Volume (Year): 2013/2 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 61-92

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Handle: RePEc:fan:efeefe:v:html10.3280/efe2013-002005
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