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International Handbook of Land and Property Taxation

Edited by Richard M. Bird and Enid Slack

This comprehensive Handbook explores case studies of land and property taxation in 25 countries (five in each of five regions – OECD, central and eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America), and focuses on the potential contributions of the property tax to the revenues of urban and rural governments and to more efficient land use.
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Chapter 20: Land and Property Taxes in Russia

Andrey Timofeev


1 Andrey Timofeev The Russian Federation has a population of 144 million, of which 73 percent reside in urban areas. The Federation comprises 89 ‘subjects of the federation’: ethnic republics, krais, okrugs, oblasts, and autonomous areas – all of which are hereafter referred to as ‘regions.’ Below the regional level, there are one or two levels of local government, depending on the region. The prevailing one-tier system has local government established at the level of cities and ‘rayons’ (an equivalent of the US county) with an average size of 579 000. However, in about fifteen regions local government is established at the level of sub-rayon townships and rural districts, with an average size of 5400. In this case, at the rayon level there is either an overlapping local government or a deconcentrated arm of the regional government. All formally established governments have their political autonomy secured in the constitution. However, as shown below, this autonomy is constrained by the de facto monopolization of tax policy by the federal government. Federal legislation2 prescribes a closed list of taxes that can be levied in the Russian Federation. This list comprises three groups: federal taxes, regional taxes and local taxes. The criteria to classify a tax as belonging to a particular level of government are (a) the territory covered by the tax and (b) the level of the government that introduces the tax. The criteria do not include the level that ultimately receives the revenue or the level defining a tax base or...

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