The Local Resources in Albania as Instruments to Increase the Autonomy of the Local Institutions
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The current Albanian Constitution (1998) defines communes and municipalities (local governments) as the basic units of local governments. Local governments are legal entities and perform all the duties of self-government, with the exception of those that the law gives to other units. There are a total of 373 local governments units, consisting of 65 municipalities and 308 communes. While municipalities govern urban areas and the communes rural areas, there is no substantive legal distinction between them. The fiscal decentralization reform in Albania has addressed the issue of adequate local recourses proportional to the competences. The decentralization of functions were supported with an increase of financing opportunities either through the increase of transfers from the state budget or by adopting the new system of local taxes and fees, the latter one by providing total discretion to the local government in setting local tariff policies to cover the cost of their services. Unfunded mandates can represent a risk if not addressed in an appropriate manner. In this article we are going to discuss about the local resources as instruments to increase the autonomy of the local governments versus the resources from the central government. The balance between the resources from the central government and the local own revenue should be, as much as possible equal.
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