Author(s) António Antunes Ramalho
Advisor(s) Joaquim Freitas Rocha
Year 2017

Synopsis With this dissertation, we seek to obtain a better understanding of the financing system of the local autarquies, mostly the municipalities, in the context of the fair distribution of income between the State and other public entities, under the terms prescribed by the first item of the article 103 of the CRP. Essentially, we will try to find out what the perequation mechanisms are and how they work, both in their vertical and horizontal dimensions. To do so, we will start from the configuration of the counties in the beginnings of nationality and analyze their evolution and development over several centuries, noting the advances and setbacks observed in terms of their autonomy and the resulting repercussions from the tax point of view. We will throughly check the Liberal period and the legislative reorganizations of MOUZINHO DA SILVEIRA, both in terms of administrative organization and in terms of the alleged financial autonomy of municipalities, with a special focus on the taxes and taxation system, in light of the old quarrel between direct taxation and indirect taxation. We won’t fail to analyze the historical period corresponding to the First Republic and to look at the economic and social consequences to which the country’s participation in the First World War led, with the high level of impoverishment of the State and the populations that followed. The “Estado Novo” will also earn our attention, whose affirmation and development we will seek to follow, without neglecting the relations between state power and local power, in particular in terms of their autonomy or dependency, financially, through the granting of possible subsidies or other contributive instruments. When we get to April 1974, we will focus our attention on the perequation mechanisms and their way of functioning, in order to inquire about their correctness, based on the results obtained, observed in the context of their application to the reality of the different entities below the state. Such exercise will help us to understand the extent to which situations of financial difficulties or financial disruption in some municipalities are more due to their structural weaknesses or to a less careful and rigorous management of available resources. Finally, we will present our suggestions as a contribution to the qualitative enrichment of local power.

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