Contemporary property tax reforms face the challenge of identifying the appropriate role for a tax on immobile physical assets in an economy ever more reliant on mobile and intangible factors. The property tax can offer a stable revenue source particularly well suited for local government and a valuable adjunct to land reform initiatives. At the same time, it requires administrative capability, legislative support and political acceptance that are often lacking in highly developed and long established systems as well as in transition economies. Technological advances offer potential efficiency gains in assessment, administration and collection, but they can also consume vast sums for glamorous but inappropriate projects that yield little additional revenue.
Working Paper Number 04-49.