Towards comprehensive and integrated land management practices in Albania : How can the new paradigmatic shift in land use planning and growth management foster a positive impact on local finances and the tax base? The case of Municipality of Tirana

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This research draws upon the array of changes that have occurred in the spatial planning system in Albania over the last decade, and examines possible impacts at local level, namely on the financial situation of local governments. The research is conducted in two inter-relational directions: firstly, it tackles the possible impact of land use changes and tools that determine the change patterns, on taxation and local budgets; and secondly, it analyses the strategies used to address urban growth, through development indicators, principles, etc. and assesses their possible influence on the tax base. These aspects are analyzed for the municipality of Tirana, which has the highest development rate and financial growth in the country; and are anchored to the current planning document in place: the General Local Territorial Plan (GLTP) of Tirana, for the period 2016-2030. The research contributes to the overall discussion on the relevance of local planning instruments, with respect to improving the tax base, the fiscal autonomy of local governances, the provision of services, the urban growth in terms of sprawl or densification, and the prioritization of investment projects. Methodologically, the research is based both on desk review of land use planning theories; current planning legislation and documents in Albania, and local finance studies; as well as sample studies of specific spatial typologies in the city of Tirana, and their development scenarios in relation to the proposed land use changes and development indicators, in terms of tax revenues. This research, albeit not exhaustive, draws conclusions on the real potential of using land development instruments to induce growth in local financial capacities, both through property tax, and other taxes that are related to land and property.
land use change, local finances, growth management, land development indicators