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September 2004

Announcement of a new publication

Decentralization and rural property taxation

FAO Land Tenure Studies 7

This guide is intended to assist countries that wish to introduce new property tax systems or to expand or reform existing systems. The guide is aimed primarily at supporting land administrators who have been assigned the responsibility for the technical design and implementation of rural property taxation systems. Its contents regarding policy aspects of property taxation in support of decentralization may be relevant to national decisionmakers and those in central government responsible for preparing legislation and development programmes. Those in the donor community and others who work in broader rural development programmes may also find the information useful.

The guide starts by describing the potential benefits of decentralization for making the delivery of services more efficient and effective, and it identifies problems which can result in failure to reach that potential. The guide describes the importance of local governments becoming fiscally autonomous, and shows how rural property taxes can be a vital source of revenue for rural communities. It identifies issues that should be considered in the design and implementation of rural property taxes. The overall message is that property tax in rural areas is technically feasible and will benefit the rural economy and rural governance.

(Also available in French and Spanish)

Click here to view the document (html format) or in pdf format.

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