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The present volume is part of a series of Land Tenure Studies produced by FAO's Land Tenure Service of the Rural Development Division. Land tenure plays a vital role in achieving sustainable rural development. Increasing technological change and economic integration are requiring policy makers, planners, development experts and rural producers to re-examine the institutional arrangements used to administer who has rights to what resources for which purposes, for how long, and under what conditions.

This volume is designed to support people who are involved with the development of rural property taxation systems in Central and Eastern Europe. Increasingly, countries are introducing policies to decentralize the provision of rural services. These policies are often not well-implemented because insufficient funds are provided to the local level to carry out the newly decentralized responsibilities. One approach to improving the capacity of local levels of governments to deliver services is to raise revenues through property taxes on rural land. We have therefore prepared this practical guide to assist people with the technical design and implementation of rural property taxation systems.

This guide forms part of the Land Tenure Service's programme designed in response to FAO's overall concern for food security and poverty alleviation. Sustainable agricultural and rural development is a critical area of activity, where improving access to land by the poor (especially women, minorities and other disadvantaged groups) who want to engage in agricultural pursuits is a key aspect which is often unrecognised and not well understood. This book, like others in the series, does not seek to be exhaustive but rather reflects what FAO and its many international collaborators have discovered are "good practices" for a particular aspect of land administration. It is intended to be of use to technical officers of Member Nations, other senior authorities responsible for rural development, and FAO field officers. FAO's Rural Development Division looks forward to continuing collaboration with its larger audience.

Maximiliano Cox
Rural Development Division

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