Source: Author's calculations using datafrom Statistiches Jahrbuch 1998, tables 20.1.3
Different states have different fiscalcapacities for delivering public services to their residents—that is, there are horizontalfiscal imbalances (HFIs). These can arise from both the expenditure and revenuesides of the budget. With respect to expenditures, the need for public servicesof different types can differ across states because of different demographicmake-ups of the state populations. As well, costs of provision can differ. Onthe revenue side, different states have different tax capacities—that is, per capita tax bases willdiffer across states. This is the case in respect of both common taxes(distributed to states on an origin basis) and state taxes (including localtaxes). Because of the uniformity-of-living-conditions principle as well ascentralized tax legislation, these measures should be quite comparable acrossstates.
HFI of StateExpenditures
Table B.5 shows per capita state governmentexpenditures as a proportion of the national average. Other than the citystates, values range between 87% and 117% of the national average. For the citystates, however the values are markedly different, in the neighbourhood of40%-50% greater. These differences are substantial and indicate differences inneed and cost across states.
HFI of CommonTaxes
Table B.6(a) shows per capita revenues fromcommon taxes by state as a percentage of the German average. The disparitiesare wide; although they appear to have lessened in recent years, this appearsto be more a consequence of the high degree of HFI associated with the formereast German states following unification.
HFI of StateTaxes
Table B.6(b) shows per capita revenues fromstate taxes as a percentage of the German average. Most noticeable here is thatthe former east German states exhibit a lesser degree of HFI in respect ofstate taxes than is the case with common taxes.
HFI of LocalTaxes
Table B.6(c) shows per capita revenues fromlocal taxes by state as a percentage of the German average. Once again, theformer east German states exhibit huge disparity in terms of HFI, tending topull down the average.
HFI of State RevenuesAfter Distribution ofCommon Taxes
Table B.7(a) shows per capita state revenuesafter distribution of common taxes as a percentage of the German average. Thesedata are before state-state equalization. They reflect both the disparity infiscal capacities in respect of common taxes and the implicit equalizationassociated with VAT distribution as well as the explicit component associatedwith supplementary equalization financed out of the VAT. Evidently, VATdistribution has dramatic impacts on states’ relative fiscalcapacities.
HFI of Local Taxes AfterDistribution of Common Taxes
Table B.7(b) shows per capita local revenuesafter distribution of common taxes as a percentage of the German average. They,too, reflect both the disparity in fiscal capacities in respect of commontaxes. Evidently, personal income tax distribution has an impact on localgovernments’ relativefiscal capacities, although less dramatically so than VAT distribution has onstates’ relativefiscal capacities.
HFI of State RevenuesAfter Distribution of Common Taxes and Transfers
Table B.7(c) shows per capita revenues fromall sources after distribution of common taxes and transfers as a percentage ofthe German average. There remains a marked degree of disparity betweencity states and others. Nonetheless, only one state exhibits a fiscal capacitybelow 90 percent of the national average. Other than with regard to the citystates, the German system exhibits a remarkable degree of uniformity in fiscalcapacities across states.
Table B.5 State Governments Per CapitaExpenditures as a Percentage of GermanAverage
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