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Capital, Coercion, and Postcommunist States$
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Gerald M. Easter

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451195

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451195.001.0001

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Politics of Tax Reform

Politics of Tax Reform

Making (and Unmaking) Revenue Bargains

(p.51) 3 Politics of Tax Reform
Capital, Coercion, and Postcommunist States

Gerald M. Easter

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the politics of tax reform and how tax reform was affected by revenue bargains. In particular, it asks why some postcommunist states were able to enact fundamental tax reform, while others were not. The chapter compares three rounds of tax reform in Poland and Russia to determine how the degree of political contestation in each country influenced the success or failure of tax reform. It goes beyond the formal tax code to reveal the underlying informal revenue bargains and how revenue bargaining enabled postcommunist states to overcome the initial societal resistance to new revenue claims. It shows that although revenue bargains helped the new states to survive early fiscal crises, they became enduring political constraints on the tax policy process and provided the foundation for transitional tax regimes.

Keywords:   tax reform, revenue bargain, postcommunist state, Poland, Russia, tax policy, politics

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