Reforming Australia's fiscal federalism: Should municipal bond banks play a greater role?

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Journal Article
Australasian Journal of Regional Studies, 2016, 22 (2), pp. 243 - 262
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The theoretical benefits of decentralisation (political, administrative, and fiscal, for example) have been the subject of debate across a range of polities and supra-national political economies for several decades. However, the question of how finance might best follow function - and the attendant oversight of this process - is less resolved. Against the backdrop of mooted reforms to the Australian federation that may well have an impact upon the design of and scope for local and regional governance arrangements, this paper provides an account of the formation and functioning of the Local Government Finance Authority of South Australia (LGFA) the New Zealand Local Government Funding Agency (NZLGFA) and the Municipal Finance Authority of British Colombia (MFABC). The case studies suggest that own-source sub-national finance can be augmented through the use of such instruments. The broader introduction of such financial instruments is also considered.
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