Expenditure and Revenue Assignment: Principles

  • Harry KitchenEmail author
  • Melville McMillan
  • Anwar Shah


This chapter provides a conceptual overview of the principles of expenditure and revenue assignment to local governments. Local government is seen to be more aware of local preferences and conditions and more accountable to local residents than senior governments. Core and noncore responsibilities are distinguished (e.g., local streets versus schooling). Financing follows function. Financing follows the benefit criterion; that is, local residents pay for the local services from which they benefit—with user charges and local taxes although grants may be needed. Various (especially) noncore services involve interjurisdictional spillovers and/or redistributive considerations and so, if assigned to local governments require intergovernmental transfers to achieve efficiency and equity objectives. Financing alternatives and appropriate uses are reviewed.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsTrent UniversityPeterboroughCanada
  2. 2.University of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  3. 3.Governance StudiesBrookings InstitutionWashington, DCUSA

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