Though the dismantling of the Soviet bloc in Eastern Europe seems ancient history now, many nations are still re-establishing systems for property tax and public finance. The Lincoln Institute has been there to help, and in April, a delegation traveled again to Slovenia for a week-long course, “Market Value-Based Taxation of Real Property: Lessons from International Experience.” An international faculty of experts from Poland, Estonia, and Northern Ireland joined Institute fellows Joan Youngman, Jane Malme, and Sally Powers to explore the benefits and challenges of market value-based property taxes and to consider strategies for successful implementation. Course participants included more than twenty-five public officials from the Czech Republic, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The course addressed topics ranging from policy formulation to a comparison of international practice to details of market analysis and valuation methods. The recent publication Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on the Property Tax served as a text and basis for discussion. The course was offered at the Center of Excellence in Finance in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The center was established in 2001 to provide training, research, and assistance to regional officials dealing with public financial management and central banking, and to allow them to work with international experts in these fields. Partners include The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the U.S. Department of the Treasury.