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Page 1 of 3 Showing 1 - 48 of Next. Martin Author Martin Author Doug Wheatley Illustrator A Game of Thrones George R. Martin Author Gary Gianni Illustrator Martin Other Martin Author. A Storm of Swords: Blood and Martin Editor. A Storm of Swords: Steel and The Eighth Science Fiction Being state capital, when it happens, could help us build on this.
Fifth, as state capital, Barcelona could strongly strengthen its urban innovation ecosystem, among other mechanisms, through the benefits of being the capital or the presence of new regulators in strategic sectors. A greater capacity to invest in knowledge infrastructure. The ability to develop a legal framework that is much closer to our needs. Autonomy in managing basic infrastructure and the design and implementation of cultural policies, among others.
The change of perspective would be radical and the potential for transformation, extraordinary. We shall need to know how to take advantage of it. Sixth: in the meantime, more work is needed to improve the innovation ecosystem in metropolitan Barcelona. And, in this respect, we need to define and apply a model of economic development based on a new model of local government. This is the question we are trying to answer in this article.
Before analysing what financing system Barcelona City Council could have in the future, we must first outline the new responsibilities the organisation might take on. This means first establishing the responsibilities that the city would be given, and secondly estimating how much it would cost to take on these responsibilities, before designing a framework for adequate funding.
There is broad agreement in academia that any local financing system must meet a set of basic principles for it to work properly.
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On the one hand, it has to ensure the necessary resources to cover the public spending policies to be implemented, a principle known as sufficiency. On the other hand, the municipal government should have the financial autonomy to decide, within a broader regulatory framework, on the structure and composition its income, including tax revenues in particular; these are the principles of fiscal and financial autonomy.
This is one way to increase fiscal responsibility in municipalities, which improves political accountability and allows citizens to evaluate their government in two ways: through expenditure and revenue.
One aspect in particular that should be taken into account is the cost associated with being a capital. This issue currently exists because Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, but becoming the capital of a state could see this cost increase further this would be the case, for example, for services such as public safety, civil protection, cleaning, parks and gardens, urban planning, maintaining public spaces, and so on. Another factor to consider is the loss of municipal income by substituting private activities for public ones.
Some areas in the city will no longer be used for residential and business activities, instead being used for administrative activities, which, in most cases, are eligible for significant tax exemptions and reductions in municipal taxes, reducing the overall municipal tax revenue. In this sense, it is reasonable to assume that the citizens of Barcelona would enjoy the same public services, paying similar tax rates the principle of equity , although this is something that the municipal finance system would have to calculate.
According to the budget, this amount was allocated primarily to the provision of basic public services The second major expense for the City Council was on general activities, amounting to In fourth and fifth place are expenses on social protection Transferring such powers would not be feasible for every municipality, due to the small size of so many of them. Obviously, increased powers mean more spending, and this would have to be compensated for with more revenue.
The question is what kind of revenue taxes, subsidies or other revenue and, if taxes would rise, then what would be the best course of action; to raise existing taxes, implement new ones, increase revenue shares, or share taxes. To answer these questions, we must first analyse the current financing model. However, although the national legislative framework relates to the state, it should be kept in mind that the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia regulates important aspects for local governments, both in terms of financing and jurisdictional framework.
In fact, the Statute establishes that the Parliament of Catalonia should approve its own law on local financing. Barcelona, like other municipalities with more than 75, inhabitants, and capitals of provincial and autonomous regions, also receives a share of income tax, VAT and excise tax on oil, tobacco and alcohol. Within the former, the state transfer system places an important role through the Supplementary Fund, which generated a total of This simple description of the revenue structure shows that this financing model presents significant problems, including the following:3 1.
A lack of financial autonomy caused by reliance on transfer payments, especially the State Supplementary Funds, has lead to a lack of fiscal responsibility. It is difficult to apply the principles of financial sufficiency, given that the current framework of municipalities makes it difficult to calculate the resources needed to meet the cost of the allocated services. There is a lack of fiscal autonomy, given the limited capacity for decision-making relating to municipal taxes, especially in terms of tax rates.
There is no system to balance the resources allocated to municipalities based on principles of equity. There are considerable differences between the resources per capita for each of the municipalities. There are no mechanisms in place for monitoring and updating the current model to ensure the stability of municipal resources. The changing social and economic situation requires mechanisms both technical and institutional to adapt the model to any changes.
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In this regard, further analysis of potential options for updating the model are needed. There are no mechanisms in place to encourage institutional loyalty. The distribution of income and expenditure between different levels of government entails the need for a systematic coordination of actions, so that any new expenditure is accompanied by the sufficient resources to carry them out. In addition to this problem we should also ask: if Barcelona became the capital of a new state, would this be the best financing system for Barcelona City Council?
What scenarios could we consider? The following offers some answers to these questions. Financial models for Barcelona as the state capital As mentioned above, when designing a new financial model for Barcelona City Council, it is first necessary to know what powers the city will have and how much it will cost to provide the services, ensuring that they are provided according to the principles of sufficiency, autonomy, responsibility and equity.
On a European level, non-financial revenue structures vary substantially between countries, depending on their main source of income. There are three major sources of non-financial resources: taxes, grants and other resources, including public prices and equity income, etc. In other countries, subsidies are more important, except in Greece, where other non-financial revenues are higher.
According to the type of tax employed, it is possible to establish four different models: AngloSaxon countries, Nordic countries, federal countries and Latin countries. The Anglo-Saxon model, which includes Ireland and the UK, only has one local taxation policy: property tax. In these countries, it is therefore the only local tax revenue. Another model to look at is the Nordic countries Denmark, Finland and Sweden.
The main feature of the Nordic model is that local taxation focuses on individual income tax, which is more important, along with other taxes such as taxes on immovable property and taxes on company income, which have a residual importance. This way of structuring local income tax is based on a system of shared tax bases between the central government and the local government.
In other words, local governments municipalities and counties adopt the central income tax, and on that basis apply the tax rate, which they are free to establish as they wish there are no limits. The tax rates are always proportional. The third model is the one used by local governments in federal European countries Germany, Austria and Belgium and it is characterised by a mixture of the two previous methods, the Scandinavian model and the Anglo-Saxon model. Accordingly, there is a tax on immovable property and income tax, with the latter more important than the former, except for in Belgium.
In Belgium, local income tax is used to establish a proportional tax base for the central income tax. Alongside these two figures there are other, relatively less important sources of revenue. However, it should be noted that the tax on economic activity is a specific tax in Germany and Austria, calculated using the profit made on economic activities. It should also be highlighted that the Austrian government receives a large share of federal taxes. The final model to study at is the Latin model Spain, France, Greece, Italy and Portugal , characterised by a very diversified tax structure, with a relatively low revenue from individual income tax, and different levels of transfer payments.
In view of these differences, and considering the current situation, the new financing model for the city of Barcelona should be structured so that taxes have a much greater importance than they currently have, reducing transfer payments. With regard to taxes, federal European countries have a good framework to follow, with the system dominated by two sources of income: a tax on immovable property and individual 4 See Bosch and Espasa This structure fits in well with the fact that, within the new state, Barcelona would provide local services, many of which would be closely linked to property ownership, as well as other services such as education, health and social services.
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In this regard, it is interesting to look at the Nordic countries, which share income tax with the central government. This means that local governments adopt the income tax rate used by the central government, and apply a proportional tax rate on top of that. This design guarantees more financial autonomy and shared fiscal responsibility, as well as a share of the tax revenue generated. As for property tax, it should be noted that due to its relative stability it is one of the most frequently used municipal taxes.
Therefore, it should be the cornerstone of municipal finances, preferably with a more important role due to its potential for increasing revenue.
However, in order to improve this tax, a thorough review of the system would be necessary, with an increase in fiscal autonomy in relation to the tax rates, deductions and other allowances applied. The remaining taxes would play a less important role, and they could be redefined when the new state was created this would be apply to the tax on business activity, as it could be redesigned to apply only to company profit , and they could be reassigned to different local authorities such as the vehicle tax, which could become the responsibility of the Regional Government , removed altogether for example capital gains tax, which is a double taxation and therefore does not serve much use , or new, more modern taxes could even be created, such as a tourism tax.
As for transfer payments, they would come from the Regional Government and would have to ensure sufficiency. More specifically, the tax system should be designed so that it covers the costs of the services transferred to Barcelona City Council that are not covered by average municipal tax revenues, as well as the possible costs that Barcelona would have to take on as the capital of a new state. In this regard, it would be necessary to establish a method for calculating spending needs, to therefore work out the amount of transfer payments required and how the money would be distributed among the different municipalities.
The remaining revenue should complement these two pillars of municipal financing, but it should be kept in mind that the municipalities, as local governments supplying public services, will have more potential to use the revenue in line with the compensation principle. Thus, taxes, subsidised prices, special contributions and other revenues also play a certain role and they are likely to be used even further in the future.
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