THE ADMINISTRATIVE AND TERRITORIAL REFORM IN UKRAINE: ECONOMIC ASPECTS
Topicality. It is caused by excessive centralization of powers and financial and material resources by the executive authorities, the inability of the territorial communities of the basic level to fulfill their powers, the deterioration of the quality and availability of public services due to the lack of financial and material provision.
Aim and tasks. To investigate the economic aspects of administrative-territorial reform in Ukraine, to identify the main problems of financial provision of territorial communities of the baseline level.
Research results. The model of budget relations implemented is aligned not by expenditures, but by income. Such a mechanism has a motivational component regarding the interest in increasing the revenue base of local budgets. At that time, the transition to equalization of local budgets by income led to an increase in the differentiation of communities. Most benefit was given to cities of regional significance whose incomes have increased significantly. Local government revenues consist of own revenues and transfers from the central level. Over the past 20 years, the tendency towards a decrease in the share of local budget revenues and the increase in the share of state budget revenues in the consolidated budget of Ukraine (without intergovernmental transfers) has been observed. The share of local budget revenues without transfers (own revenues) decreased by 1,5 times from 31,4 % in 2002 to 20,9 % in 2018.
In the financing system of local self-government, during the study period, the share of transfers increased. The share of own revenues decreased almost 2 times, from 78,4 % in 2002 to 42,1 % in 2018, and the share of transfers increased from 21,6 % to 57,9 %, respectively. This dependence on transfers is of a serious scale: in 45 % of the united territorial communities (UTC) transfers in 2016 amounted to 75 % of revenues. The increase in the share of transfers in the budgets of local self-government, the dependence of the amount of transfers from central authorities and the inability to plan them, as well as the transfer of powers without adequate financial support, pose significant risks to the economic self-sufficiency of local communities.
In 2016, 76 % of expenditures of local self-government bodies were performed on behalf of central authorities as financing of "delegated powers" (health care, education, social protection). At the same time, transfers from the central level accounted for only 57,9 % of local budget revenues. That is, a considerable part of delegated powers of local self-government bodies are forced to finance at the expense of their own income. As a result, they have little resources to fulfill their "own authority", namely the construction and repair of local roads and housing, the provision of utilities (water supply and sewerage, waste collection, heating, etc.), as well as local transport and development of " objects of culture and rest. Under the burden of current expenditures, the investment capacity of local self-government bodies is small.
The authorities at the oblast and rayon level are not entirely self-governing, as regional and district levels act as local self-government bodies (regional and district councils), as well as executive bodies (oblast and rayon state administrations). The first few have very few powers, and their executive bodies are not created, although this is provided by the Concept. The latter are subordinate to the central authorities and they have a dominant role. All this complicates the assessment of changes at the regional and district levels in the context of financial decentralization.
A prerequisite for the normal functioning and development of UTC is their economic self-sufficiency. This implies that the UTC revenues correspond to the expenditures necessary for the exercise of their own and delegated powers. An appropriate methodology is needed to carry out an assessment of the economic self-sufficiency of the communities. More than 4 years of decentralization reform have taken place, but there is no corresponding methodology. The lack of a methodology for assessing the economic self-sufficiency of the combined territorial is due to objective reasons. First, this is the lack of a clear and legally-established division of powers between the executive and local self-government bodies, as well as between the levels of the latter. Secondly, the lack of standards and norms of financial and infrastructural provision of public services (schools, kindergartens, paramedical outpatient departments, out-patient departments, engineering networks, etc.).
Conclusions. The conducted study shows that Ukraine has a centralized system of incomes and expenditures, and the reform of financial decentralization has led to the opposite result, namely, to increase the dependence of local self-government on central authorities. The reform of financial decentralization in Ukraine tends to support a model that is more based on transfers than on its own revenue.
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