ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Somik V LallSubscribe to Somik V Lall

Fiscal and Distributional Implications of Property Tax Reforms in Indian Cities

The property tax is an important local revenue source in many countries, but is often underused as a source for financing local expenditures. This paper examines the fiscal and distributional implication of ongoing and potential assessment reforms in two Indian cities, Bangalore and Pune. While our findings are specific to these two cases, the reform efforts and underlying problems are representative of most urban local governments. Reform efforts that bring assessment of the property tax base closer to market values have significant positive impacts on revenue generation and do not have adverse consequences in terms of the tax burden faced by the poor. While current assessment reforms are a good first step, structural issues such as improved valuation, increasing buoyancy of the tax, and building taxpayer confidence need to be addressed to make these reforms sustainable.

The he Role of Pub Public lic Infr Infrastr astr astructur uctur ucture e In Investments in Re Regional ional De Development elopment

There does not appear to be consensus on the importance of public investments as productive factors in the economic development process. In an era of increasing regional identities, there is need to understand the determinants of regional economic growth. A critical examination of the relationship between public policies and regional economic growth is provided in this paper. The main lesson that emerges from the review of regional development literature is that a single incentive or development activity cannot lead to programme or project success. The empirical analysis tests the efficacy of public infrastructure investments in the development process of 15 Indian states. The empirical analysis highlights that investments in social infrastructure have the closest linkage with economic growth across lagging, intermediate, and leading states. The empirical research suggests that the composition of public investments is important in facilitating growth, and public investment is a necessary but not sufficient condition for regional economic growth. Sensitivity towards scale and spatial issues, model specification and development of conceptual linkages should be central to future work on infrastructure productivity.

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