Revenue-Maximising or Revenue-Sacrificing Government? Property Tax in Pakistan

Authors: Mujtaba Piracha & Mick Moore
Publisher: Journal of Development Studies
Date: June 2016



The idea that states seek to maximise their revenue collection has occupied a significant place in contemporary political economy analysis of taxation, and has helped us understand the history of state formation. It is, however, very much at variance with the daily experience of tax policy and practice. Governments are frequently revenue-sacrificers: they fail to use the functioning, legitimate tax collection systems they have available to actually collect much revenue. This paper details the case of property tax collection in Pakistan, and concludes that governments tend to maximise rule before they maximise revenue.