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Unformatted text preview: tion of the financing of the Communities is
already divided according to territorial personal income tax revenues.
Let us now examine the financing of the Regions and their broader fiscal autonomy.
a) Regional taxes: almost complete autonomy
The list of regional taxes comprises taxes on gambling and betting, the tax on coin-operated amusement devices, the
tax on the opening of drinking establishments, transfer duty upon death and inheritance tax, the real estate tax,
registration fees on the transfer for payment of real property, mortgage fees, registration fees on inter vivos donations of
personal property and immovable property, the radio-television fee,24 the taxes on the use of vehicles, the vehicle
registration tax and the Eurovignette, while ecotaxes “are no longer regulated by the special law governing financing but
fall under federal jurisdiction” (our translation).
The Regions enjoy complete autonomy with respect to most of these taxes. The Flemish government has already
decided to eliminate the radio-television fee within its territory. However, there are a few exceptions. The establishment
of cadastral revenue, on which the real estate tax is based, remains under federal jurisdiction. The establishment of the
tax base of the tax on the use of vehicles and the vehicle registration tax is the responsibility of the Regions but the
exercising of such jurisdiction is subordinate to a cooperation agreement between Regions and the federal level, on
leasing firms. The Regions are also responsible for the Eurovignette tax but they must conclude a cooperation
agreement in respect of vehicles registered abroad.
Inheritance taxes and registration fees on inter vivos donations are payable where the inheritance was opened or where
the donation was made. However, if the testator or the donor was established successively in several places during the
five preceding years, the place of the lengthiest stay prevails.
The federal government continues to ensure free of charge the collection of taxes but federated entities may decide to
directly collect certain groups of taxes. 23 24
25 188 Vincent Vanden Berghe, a Louvain-la-Neuve economist, summarized the situation in an interview to Belgian daily newspaper La Libre Belgique, in
May 2001: “If the agreements are approved, federal government aid to the Communities will increase significantly starting in 2002 and will be tied to
growth in Belgian GNP starting in 2007. The French Community will then be in a position to face ‘normal’ growth in its expenditures. However, it
should be emphasized that these agreements alter the distribution rule governing federal government aid to the Communities. Gradually and fully
starting in 2012, the additional means, which will grow over time, will be apportioned according to the local personal income tax revenues in the
regions” (our translation).
It will become a regional tax but the Communities will receive compensatory annual aid, from the Regions but through the federal government.
Le Fiscologue, 809, 10-08-2001, page 3. Commissio...
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