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

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  • Andrea Zatti
  • Fiorenza Carraro

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea Zatti & Fiorenza Carraro, 2013. "Environmental taxation and municipal fiscal federalism: remarks and perspectives on the Italian case study," ECONOMICS AND POLICY OF ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2013(2), pages 61-92.
  • Handle: RePEc:fan:efeefe:v:html10.3280/efe2013-002005
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Henrik Klinge Jacobsen & Katja Birr-Pedersen & Mette Wier, 2003. "Distributional Implications of Environmental Taxation in Denmark," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 24(4), pages 477-499, December.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

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