Achievements and challenges of fiscal decentralization: by Steven B. Webb, Marcelo M. Giugale

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By Steven B. Webb, Marcelo M. Giugale

The 3 forces of democratization, decentralization, and improvement have swept across the world the decade and redrawn the maps of politics, energy, and prosperity. sleek Mexico has been totally engaged within the trio, making it a wealthy case examine. lately, superior political festival has redistributed decisionmaking throughout all degrees of presidency, making the govt extra in charge to the common citizen. It has additionally given subnational governments a renewed position as fiscal brokers. The taxation, spending, borrowing, and associations of Mexican states and municipalities at the moment are more and more below the rigor of marketplace self-discipline. The mixed, nearer scrutiny of citizens and financiers is making a new incentive framework for policymakers-a framework the place precious reforms turn into either inescapable and, extra importantly, a perceived resource of capability present. This e-book is the manufactured from the analytical paintings of a giant variety of specialists, Mexican and international. within the booklet, the specialists rfile Mexico's decentralization adventure; conceptualize its major tendencies, rules, and suggestions; and convey it into the sunshine of foreign comparability. They distill severe classes and demanding situations which are of relevance for Mexico, for Latin the US and, commonly, for nations which are embarking on some distance achieving decentralization efforts. This renders the quantity an incredible contribution to our wisdom and considering during this zone; and a well timed one, due to the fact that decentralization is an irreversible procedure that's prone to proceed occupying policymakers for years yet to come.

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Federal involvement in personnel issues remains problematic. The municipal level has few assigned responsibilities, especially in social sectors. Individual schools and hospitals have little autonomy or community involvement, although international experiences in Colombia (the New School Program), Nicaragua (the Participatory Fund for Maintenance of Social Infrastructure), and El Salvador (the EDUCO Program) indicate that this part of decentralization does the most for performance on various indicators: attendance, test scores, and cost control.

The federal personal income tax has a different, narrower, base than the payroll taxes. Moreover, each state administers its own payroll tax, following its own procedures, which are independent of those used for federal payroll taxes. Inconsistent tax bases and duplicate administration are wasteful practices for both taxpayers and administrators. The administration and, for most states, the rate of the payroll tax, both offer substantial opportunities to increase states' own revenues. Most states seem to lack the incentive, however, because they have too little control over how they spend money and relatively too much opportunity to negotiate discretionary transfers, at least prior to 1999.

Realizing these benefits in Mexico will depend on the actions of local authorities and citizens, but the federal government can help by creating an environment that gives states and municipalities more incentive to take responsibility for their own programs and finances. This is not a matter of just changing rules, but also of creating a culture of devolution. It will take time. The agenda here sets out some possible steps, which will build on those taken in the past decade. Page 12 Two features dominate the current assignment of expenditure responsibilities.

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