The Bartlett School of Planning


Fiscal arrangements and planning decisions in Italy, the UK and the Netherlands

14 November 2012

Elena Besussi (2012) supported by RICS Education Trust

Several European countries are implementing fiscal and welfare reforms in the form of increased devolution of taxing and spending powers and responsibilities to sub-national government. In the last three years these trends have been coupled by stringent fiscal austerity measures, the reduction in national transfers to local government and an economic recession which has shrunk the available tax base. Urban developments are a key source of local revenues captured through financial contributions that the private development sector make towards the costs of physical and social infrastructures and through taxes on property and on uplift in property values.

The investigation looks at whether and how fiscal regimes, budgetary regulations, and instruments for the capture of value in urban development inform planning and development decisions. The investigation is contextualised in three European countries (the UK, the Netherlands and Italy), which display different fiscal traditions and local fiscal arrangements with regard to the raising of revenues through urban development. The objective of this comparative approach was to “test” whether different degrees of fiscal autonomy manifest themselves in regulations and practices by the local public sector and the development industry.

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