It was discussed on this Saturday, April 2, 2022, during the symposium-webinar, under the theme “Local tax autonomy and territorial development: diagnosis and inventory organized in partnership by the Ministry of Economy and Finance of Morocco – General Treasury of the Kingdom (TGR) – and FONDAFIP – Association for the International Foundation for Public Finances, with the support of the Revue Française de Finances Publiques ( RFFP), the local tax system in Morocco, France and even elsewhere, territorial development, decentralization, the nuance between autonomy, fiscal and financial, of local authorities…
” If everyone is part of the logic of decentralization, and therefore in the sense of a sharing of power between the central State and the local authorities, in particular in the financial field, the territorial power remains dependent on the central power.“, will note the Treasurer General of the Kingdom Noureddine Bensouda in his intervention during the first panel of the day on the theme “does local fiscal autonomy still make sense for territorial development “. A theme to which Michel Bouvier, Professor at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, President of FONDAFIP and Director of the Revue Française de Finances Publiques will have made a relevant contribution.
Two other discussion panels were set up on this first half-day of Saturday: “Governance of local taxation: who decides? Who manage ?which was moderated by Adelmejid Faïz, Chartered Accountant, Senior Tax Partner EY, Vice-President of the “Taxation and Customs” Commission of the General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises and Christine BOST, Mayor of Eysines (Gironde), Vice -President of the Departmental Council of Gironde and the second “Local tax management: what tools, what consistency, what challenges?» presented by Khalid SAFIR, Wali, Director General of Local Authorities and Laurent MAZIERE, Director General of Services for the Urban Community of Villefranche-Beaujolais-Saône.
The objective of this symposium beyond the observation having been, one suspects, to propose solutions in order to enhance the capacity of local authorities through better management of local taxes, the strengthening of autonomy and free administration. . About the latter, Noureddine Bensouda will say during his oratorical development in public, “The importance of the territorial dimension in the development process economic and social needs no further demonstration, whether in Morocco or in France. Territorial development brings together different actors, namely the State, local authorities, public establishments and enterprises, the private sector and civil society. Hence the need for coordination between the various stakeholders in order to ensure the coherence and effectiveness of public policies.“.
We will also remember from the Treasurer General of the Kingdom this start of all truth during his intervention “To speak only of local authorities, these have always had the ambition not to depend too much on the central power and therefore, to want to have a certain financial autonomy in order to accomplish the various missions assigned to them. In this context, we have observed in recent years, in the case of Morocco, a consensus on the part of politicians for decentralization based on the principle of subsidiarity, according to which the decision must be taken by the level of public authority closer to users“. As a good orator, he had the gift, through figures on local finances, of clearly explaining the processes of the reality of the fiscal autonomy of local authorities and of showing that the central State also remains the main actor in the territorial development before outlining some proposals to improve this autonomy.
For the Treasurer General of the Kingdom, making fiscal autonomy a reality through fair and equitable local taxation goes through this paradigm “Local taxation must be considered as an instrument of economic policy which participates in the consolidation of the decentralization process, through the improvement of own tax resources and the sharing of State taxes in a rational manner. The objective is to meet the expectations of citizens through better territorialized public policies, able to meet their specific needs and to capitalize on opportunities at the local level..
For this it is necessary “to make territorial players the main players in the development of the regions and to widen their margins of action and the development tools to which they have access, such as the use of regional development authorities to carry out large-scale projects or the revitalization of the third sector as an actor in local development“. Ultimately, this requires greater sharing of responsibility between actors, synergy and integration of public policies.