As a result of decentralization, local governments in low-income countries are expected to implement local development projects and provide adequate services to citizens but often lack the revenues to do so effectively – with this dynamic exacerbated by the Covid-19 crisis. While local governments have access to multiple sources of revenue, including intergovernmental transfers and various local taxes, the property tax is an ideal and sustainable revenue source for increasing the fiscal capacity to fulfill decentralized responsibilities. In practice, the collection of property taxes is far below their potential, but recent reform experiences show that significant improvements are possible with the adoption of reform models tailored to local political, institutional and social realities. This panel will bring together papers focused on capturing innovative and successful models of reform, which address challenges related to both technical design and navigating political barriers to reform. In addition to generating practical insights into reform processes, the papers will also provide theoretical insights into the mechanisms shaping reform processes and corresponding strategies for strengthening property tax systems.
Papers and presenters
- The Political Economy of Property Tax Reform in Dakar, Senegal – Colette Nyirakamana
- Scaling Up Property Tax Reform in The Cities of Saint-Louis and Ziguinchor – Camille Barras
- Participatory Budgeting, Tax Compliance and the Social Contract in Freetown, Sierra Leone – Kevin Grieco, Abubakar Kamara, Niccolo Meriggi, Julian Michel and Wilson Prichard
- Widening the Tax Net when Information is Scarce: The Role of Agents’ Discretion – Justine Knebelmann and Victor Pouliquen