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Fiscal Federalism 2016

Making Decentralisation Work

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Fiscal Federalism 2016 surveys recent trends and policies in intergovernmental fiscal relations and sub-central government. Accessible and easy-to read chapters provide insight: into growing spending and tax devolution; the fiscal constitutions of federal countries; how immovable property taxation is regaining its former significance; on the true spending power of sub central governments; on the mix between own tax resources and intergovernmental grants; and on the role of fiscal rules and good budget frameworks for sustainable debt management at the state and local level.

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Reforming the tax on immovable property

Ancient civilisations taxed land and property for thousands of years – long before they discovered income, business or consumption taxes. More recently, policy makers have again become enthusiastic about this oldest of taxes and immovable property taxation has returned to the fore. This chapter surveys and evaluates immovable property tax policy in the OECD. The first section shows main property tax trends and developments. Section 2 surveys and evaluates property tax regimes currently in place in OECD countries. Section 3 analyses the economic impact of property taxation on, for example, investment and growth, income distribution, macroeconomic stability and revenue buoyancy and, finally, on land use. Section 4 reviews the relationship between property taxation and intergovernmental relations. Section 5 presents an alternative to property taxation, namely the taxation of imputed rent as part of income taxation. The sixth and final section deals with the political economy of property taxation and how to make property tax reforms happen.

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