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Title: Pursuing revenue autonomy or playing politics? Fiscal behaviour of local governments in Taiwan
Authors: 蘇偉業
Contributors: 公行系
Keywords: 稅收自主權;單一國家;稅收競爭;民主化;台灣
revenue autonomy;unitary state;tax competition;democratization;Taiwan
Date: 2013.09
Issue Date: 2013-12-13 17:03:59 (UTC+8)
Abstract: 本文以台灣的經驗來批判為何財政分權制度未必能加強地方的稅收自主權,因為地方政府並不尋求它。台灣的經驗對正在進行民主化和財政分權的單一國家尤為適用。本文顯示,因為地方政府之間的競爭,民主選舉的地方政府傾向於追求稅收協調,而缺乏擴大徵稅權力的誘因,即​​便徵稅權擴大可以增加地方政府的收入。台灣的地方政府採取的是'mini-max'財政策略,它涉及自有收入變革的極小化與地方支出的極大化。為了替不斷擴增的政府支出提供財源,以回應選民的要求,地方政府會向中央政府施壓以提高地方政府的稅基,亦企圖藉由行政改制升格來獲得更多的府際移轉收入。總之,因為有政治考慮,地方政府對財政自主的追求並不熱衷。在一個財政分權的體系中,地方政府雖可達成財政課責,但卻仍是不負責任的。
This paper critically accounts for why fiscal decentralization does not necessarily enhance revenue autonomy in the experience of Taiwan, as local governments do not pursue it. This experience is especially relevant to unitary countries that are undergoing both democratization and fiscal decentralization. This paper shows that, with inter-jurisdictional competition, democratically elected local governments are inclined to pursue tax harmonization and have little incentive to maximize taxing powers even though doing so increases own-source revenues. The local governments in Taiwan take a ‘mini-max’ fiscal strategy, which involves minimizing changes to own-source revenues while maximizing local expenditures. To finance increasing expenditures as a response to the demands of constituencies, local governments tend to press the central government to increase local government's tax bases, and to try to gain a greater share of intergovernmental transfers by having their administrative status upgraded. In summary, revenue autonomy is not being pursued by local governments because of political considerations. In a decentralized fiscal system, local governments can be fiscally accountable, but still irresponsible.
Relation: Australian Journal of Public Administration, 72(3), 330-343
Data Type: article
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