The political cost of local revenue mobilization: decentralization of the property tax in Indonesia

von Haldenwang, Christian
External Publications (2017)

in: Public Finance and Management 17 (2), 124-151


Taxes on real property have been identified as a source of income whose potential is cur-rently underused by many countries. Indonesia has recently decentralized the property tax to the local level, but has this led to a better use of the tax potential from this source? A look at revenue figures provided by the Indonesian Ministry of Finance suggests that reforms may have boosted tax collection at an aggregate level. However, closer scrutiny of seven local cases reveals that local governments are far from tapping the full potential of the property tax. Most of them are struggling with deficient data, low public acceptance of the tax and huge amounts of tax liabilities. In addition, local governments shy away from the political costs associated with more active revenue mobilization.

About the author

Haldenwang, Christian von

Political Science


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