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Unformatted text preview: ge from the standpoint of principles since it has led to
the establishment of community taxation. Until then, the communities had at their disposal solely non-fiscal revenues,
the allocated portion of revenues from taxes and fees (including part of the revenues from the radio-TV fee), and
revenues from their own borrowings. In the wake of the Saint-Michel agreement, all revenues from the radio-TV fee
have been attributed to the communities and the fee has become a community tax,15 on the same footing as the regional
taxes contemplated in section 3 of the special act.
It should be noted that, if since then the radio-TV fee has commonly been called a community tax, this designation is
somewhat inflated and may cause confusion since the fiscal autonomy of the communities in this realm is virtually nil.
Only two factors distinguish it from a federal tax, i.e. the communities collect it and the federal government may only
modify the tax, the tax base and exemptions from the fee with the consent of the two communities17.
The Saint-Quentin agreement implemented section 138 of the Constitution, introduced by the Saint-Michel agreement.
This new section allowed the French-speaking community to transfer certain of its fields of jurisdiction to the Walloon
region and to the Commission communautaire française (Cocof) in the Brussels-Capital region, the alternative in the
French-speaking community to the merger of the Flemish community and region. The objective of this paragraph is not
17 18 198 Bricman (1994), pages 193-194.
M.B., July 20, 1993.
Cf. infra, the so-called Saint-Quentin agreement.
Special financing act, section 1(a).
Special financing act, section 5(a).
Bricman (1994), page 195.
No fiscal autonomy is conceivable for the Communities because there are two Communities present in the Brussels Region and because the
inhabitants of Brussels do not have to declare to which Community they belong (absence of subnationality). It is therefore impossible to have a
differentiated fiscality between the Communities.
In fact, at the time of the La Hulpe agreement, signed on May 21, 1990, it had already been decided that certain fields of jurisdiction of the Frenchspeaking community, such as tourism investment and school transportation, would be partially financed by the Walloon region and the BrusselsCapital region, in exchange for which the two regions participated in decision-making in these fields. The fields of jurisdiction were not transferred,
since no legal provision allows such a move. Commission on Fiscal Imbalance so much to present in detail complex legal mechanisms or the fields of jurisdiction covered by the transfer decrees
stemming from the Saint-Quentin agreement but to shed light on the budgetary impact of this agreement on the finances
of the French-speaking community.
The transfer of the exercising of certain fields of jurisdiction was put into effect through the introduction of two decrees
(Decree I and Decree II), each of which increased the French-speaking community’s budgetary resources.
Decree I o...
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