The tax powers of local self-government bodies
Babin, Igor Ivanovych
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The article reveals the legal nature of the tax powers of local governments. There is no consensus among domestic and foreign scholars on the nature and content of tax powers of local governments. Some scholars, considering them through the prism of the principle of financial independence of local government, advocate the unconditional expansion of the tax powers of local governments. Others, adhering to the concept of tax sovereignty of the state, emphasize their derivative nature. The problem is also caused by the constant, often divergent change in tax legislation on this issue. It is substantiated that local taxes and fees have their own features related to the status of local governments and their powers in the field of taxation. This applies to the procedure for their establishment and introduction, budget allocation and mandatory implementation. The provisions of Article 143 of the Constitution of Ukraine on the right of local governments to establish local taxes and fees in accordance with the law must be considered in the context of other constitutional provisions relating to taxation. Collectively, these constitutional norms stipulate that a person will be obliged to pay a local tax or fee only if there are two legal grounds - a law and a decision of a local self-government body to establish it. That is, the procedure for establishing local taxes and fees consists of two stages - national and local. In the science of tax law, they are called definition and establishment. Such a procedure is a guarantee of protection of taxpayers' rights from excessive tax initiative of local governments. It is established that the realization of the rights of citizens guaranteed by the Constitution should be ensured throughout the country at the same level.Whatever the tax powers of local governments, in the absence of a sufficient economic basis, local taxes and fees are unable to ensure the appropriate level of implementation. Therefore, the financial independence of local governments should be understood as the availability of sufficient financial resources to perform their functions. The sources of these resources should be of secondary importance. Not necessarily it must be tax revenue. It is likely that a significant part of such resources can be formed from non-tax sources, including self taxation, which has a completely different legal nature from taxes.