Comparison of municipal income streams in BABLE's core market -Iberia, UKI, DACH
Municipalities in European countries have several main income streams, which vary depending on the country and the local political and economic context. Some of the common income streams for municipalities across European countries include: property taxes, business taxes, user fees and charges, grants and subsidies, investments and sales of assets or services. However, the exact structure of the municipal income streams varies depending on the country.
In Germany, municipalities have a relatively high degree of autonomy in terms of their own revenue-raising capabilities and rely mainly on three main sources of income: the property tax, also called "real estate tax" (Grundsteuer), which is a tax on the value of properties within the municipality and is the largest source of revenue for municipalities in Germany, the trade tax (Gewerbesteuer), which is a tax on business profits, and the income tax (Einkommensteuer), which is a tax on personal income but municipalities only get a small proportion of the total income tax collected.
In England, the main sources of income for municipalities are: the council tax, which is a local tax based on the value of properties and paid by residents of the municipality, the business rates, which are a tax on the value of commercial properties and paid by businesses and grants and subsidies from the national government.
In Spain, municipalities have a more limited autonomy, and their income structure depends largely on the decentralization process of each region, but generally the main income streams include: the property tax (Impuesto de Bienes Inmuebles), which is a tax on the value of properties within the municipality and the business tax (Impuesto sobre actividades económicas), which is a tax on business profits, and grants and subsidies from the national government.
In Ireland, municipalities also have a limited autonomy and their income streams depend largely on grants and subsidies from the national government, as well as user fees and charges for services like waste collection, parking and recreational facilities.
In Austria, municipalities are financed by a combination of taxes, fees and charges on property, trade, and incomes and by the grants and subsidies provided by the national government.
In Switzerland, municipalities are financially independent, each canton organizes the financing of its municipalities differently. However, it's common for municipalities to rely on property taxes, income taxes, taxes on businesses, taxes on motor vehicles, taxes on dogs, and taxes on firearms, as well as user fees and charges for services provided.
In Portugal, municipalities have their own finances based on the property tax, taxes on business activities and vehicle taxes, and also grants and subsidies from the national government.
In conclusion, the income structures for municipalities in European countries are similar in some ways but there are also significant differences. Property taxes and business taxes are a common source of revenue for municipalities across Europe, as well as grants and subsidies from national governments, user fees and charges for services provided and investments and sales of assets or services. However, the proportion and details of these revenue streams differ from country to country, depending on the political and economic context.