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The Assignment of the Property Tax: Should Developing Countries Follow the Conventional Wisdom?

The goal of this paper is to revisit the issue of the appropriate assignment of the property tax within the context of a fiscally decentralized system. We examine whether the conventional wisdom of assigning property taxes to local governments is the right one. Particularly in light of the difficulties many developing countries have with properly administering the property tax and the apparent reluctance of local authorities to utilize the revenue potential of the property tax. Because the assignment of the property tax involves a number of functions, such as defining the tax base, setting the tax rate, as well as many administrative functions, like registration, assessment, and collections, we also examine the wisdom of assigning all of these functions to local governments versus assigning some of these functions to local governments and the remaining functions to higher level governments. In the latter case, the important issue is which functions are properly assigned to local governments.

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File URL: http://icepp.gsu.edu/sites/default/files/documents/icepp/wp/ispwp0821.pdf
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Paper provided by International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University in its series International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU with number paper0821.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: 01 Dec 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ays:ispwps:paper0821
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Web page: http://aysps.gsu.edu/isp/index.html

References listed on IDEAS
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  1. Ana María Iregui B. & Ligia Melo B. & Jorge Ramos, 2004. "El Impuesto Predial en Colombia: Evolución Reciente, Comportamiento de las Tarifas y Potencial de Recaudo," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 002515, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
  2. Richard Miller Bird, 1999. "Rethinking Subnational Taxes; A New Look At Tax Assignment," IMF Working Papers 99/165, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Bentick, Brian L, 1979. "The Impact of Taxation and Valuation Practices on the Timing and Efficiency of Land Use," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(4), pages 859-68, August.
  4. Bergstrom, Theodore C & Goodman, Robert P, 1973. "Private Demands for Public Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 280-96, June.
  5. Charles E. McLure, Jr. & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 1998. "Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations in Vietnam," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper9802, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
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