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This project examines fiscal reforms in Brazil since the 1990s, particularly in taxation, budgeting, and fiscal federalism. While recentralizing fiscal authority and massively expanding the extractive capacity of the state, policymakers chose not to revamp an inefficient tax system that has nonetheless proven capable of generating high levels of revenue. In budgeting, the economic crises of the mid-1990s prompted the government to rein in subnational fiscal imbalances but discouraged policymakers from introducing major changes in the tax system. As the executive derives utility from fiscal stability and inflation control because of electoral incentives and credibility gains in international markets, reform initiatives can generate political benefits for incumbent politicians. The paper finally argues that the Achilles’ heel of the sustainability of the Fiscal Responsibility Law is its enforcement technology: the -Tribunais de Contas-.
This paper surveys the evolution and implications of fiscal decentralization in Colombia in recent decades. After describing the fiscal decentralization process and its impact on sub-national finances, the paper presents the evolution of departmental public finances, departmental vertical imbalances and the proposal to levy a VAT surcharge and a retail sales tax for the departments. The paper subs ... (View publication)
This paper estimates potential Mexican sub-national tax revenues using a stochastic frontier model. The results suggest that states are exploiting their current tax bases, particularly the payroll tax, appropriately. Mexican municipalities, however, have a low rate of tax collection compared to their potential, especially in relation to the property tax, which is their most important source of rev ... (View publication)
This paper analyzes sub-national revenues in Argentina. Following a discussion of the recent evolution of government revenues and their vertical imbalance, the paper then analyzes the most important taxes collected by federal, provincial and local governments. Subsequently considered are the determinants of sub-national revenues and the impact of the 2001-2002 crisis. It is found that automatic tr ... (View publication)
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