Significance and Determination of Fees for Municipal Finance
The idea of fiscal decentralisation has become increasingly fashionable world-wide. But every country has unique features of the intergovernmental fiscal system. In general municipal expenditures are rapidly growing in European countries. On the other hand local tax increases are not easily enforceable at present, whereas the local fiscal autonomy is unlikely to be guaranteed as long as municipalities are strongly dependent on down-flow grants. In such a fiscal-stress situation an improvement of local fiscal capacity can be achieved from the increase of fees. Four European countries were chosen to survey the recent development of municipal finance: Britain, Germany, Poland and Switzerland. This paper firstly identifies and highlights the similarities and differences in municipal finance in an international context. Secondly it theoretically examines the possibility of enhancing fiscal autonomy of local governments through determining optimal fee level which leads to an increase of revenues from this revenue item.
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