Journal of Property Tax Assessment & Administration


This article offers a different approach from previous case studies in Brazil in that it further focuses on the tax administration as well as the relevance of tax relief policies. In addition, a reviewed model of ratios is estimated to evaluate property tax performance and to indicate the main elements in a tax reform. The discussion is organised into five sections. In the first section, the legal system of property taxation in Brazil is briefly described. The second section details the sources of Brazilian municipal revenues and reviews the role of property taxes in the public finances of Rio de Janeiro. In the third section, the city’s property tax administration is studied in detail as well as the tax roll coverage, the policies of tax relief, the assessment system, the taxes levied on property values, and the method of calculation. In the fourth section, a simple ratio-based model of property tax performance is specified for Rio de Janeiro and some evidence is offered in relation to the best avenues for improving the administrative practices and, therefore, the property tax revenues. The conclusion discusses the results and outlines the main challenges in starting up property tax reform in Rio de Janeiro.

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Property tax reform