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Tax law of local government
Act of levying fees
Taiwan's overall fiscal conditions have witnessed significant deterioration for the past ten years, which has also severely impacted on the fiscal conditions of local governments. The difficulties experienced by local governments, fiscal conditions are unequal distribution and insufficiency. The situations are serious to the extent that local government budgets suffer deficits so the gaps have to be plugged by loans. However, the phenomenon of decreasing tax revenues has become more and more serious and, therefore, if the debates are only limited to the distribution of revenues, then the fiscal difficulties encountered by local governments will never be resolved. As a result, the emphasis of this research is to discuss whether the taking into effect of the General Act of Local Tax Laws and the Charges and Fees Act in December 2002 achieved the statutes’ initial objectives and whether local fiscal autonomy of local governments has been promoted. I aim to study the ways of improving the financial problem by means of three approaches: documentary method , comparative method and analysis method. The purpose of my study is first to understand the theory of local government finance, the principle and the management of financial division and the analysis of the present local governments' financial situations, then to infer origins of those financial difficulties. Secondly, I will discuss the differences between Japan, American, and England with Taiwan. Then, we know that local government needs appropriate financial resources to implement its work. Local Fiscal autonomy should include the autonomy of fiscal revenues and the autonomy of fiscal expenditures. Fiscal expenditures should support those labor and financial goods of the people in order to create greater benefits for the local people. If fiscal revenues can support completely the financial resources needed for fiscal expenditures then we don’t need to worry about the autonomy of fiscal expenditures. The concepts “Sharing the benefits” and “Sharing Budgetary responsibilities” are contrary. Local fiscal autonomy and the amount of financial resources are related. The most goal for all local governments then is to improve the financial resources available. The finaling of this study: Law Governing the Allocation of Government Revenues and Expenditures has been amended so that the central government overlooks everything. Local government has no space to interfere. Local government’s income comes mainly from property taxes. Because of the different circumstances that occur in different locations it creates a sense of fiscal inequality. The elasticity of taxes doesn't meet the needs of taxes. After the amendments of 1999, the annual income from the 20 counties and cities in Taiwan were not enough to meet the expenditures of the local governments. Thus, local government started to decline. During the last few years the annual expenditure growth rate of the local governments has grown faster than the annual income growth rate causing and imbalance in the fiscal budget. Budgets have been stiffened and expenditures of local governments are unable to be controlled locally. Political competition has added to all types of budgetary expanses. Fiscal responsibility is not clear and relying upon the central government for help has caused waste and ineffective spending. Before the downsizing of the provincial government, the central government uniformly allocated an ever-increasing tax base. However, the sum wasn’t large. After the downsizing of the provincial government the amount allocated to the counties and cities has gradually decreased. Uniformly allocated funds were never systemized causing contention between different locales continuously. Uniformly allocated funds from the central government are unable to meet the needs of the local governments needs causing contention between local and central government. During 2001, the average amount of money needed to meet the needs of government continues to grow daily yet the amount of uniformly allocated funds continues to decrease. The central government not only determines how to make the pie, how to cut the pie, and how to eat the pie, but also is unwilling to change the way they control the local government. Cutting taxes and raising financial expenditures is not the answer. It only causes a drastic imbalance in the fiscal budget causing serious problems of local debt and fiscal deficit. Therefore, this Study has made policy recommendation: Through the many levels of legislature, political shortcuts, and local democrative accountability cantake the responsibility to increase local fiscal autonomy.
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