Tax choices of fiscal federalism. Implications for the Mezzogiorno Regions
The term «federalism» has not a unambiguous meaning: this involves a specific definition within each context we want to apply it. In the Italian case, such a definition results from the specifications of the art. 119 of the Constitution, paragraph 1-5, contained in the enabling act 42/2009. Such provisions are implemented by a large series of delegated decrees. The main objective to be pursued is established in the paragraph of the art. 119: it is necessary to ensure to territorial bodies «revenue and expenditure financial autonomy». Such an autonomy is concretely valid for all the bodies if the implementing finance system guarantees the availability of resources to a level that «finances entirely public functions» attributed to these bodies (art. 2, par. 2, lett. e) of the enabling act). Furthermore it is necessary «an adequate fiscal flexibility» within the system, that ensure an acceptable budget autonomy to all the bodies, including those with the lowest fiscal potential (art. 2, par. 2, lett. bb) of the enabling act). This study will show how a system based on additional taxes on personal income tax (addizionali IRPEF) - as delegated decrees are prefiguring - that is not specifically corrected by mechanisms that reward this fiscal effort, violates the criterion of fiscal flexibility, as well as that of reform financial sustainability.
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