In the regions, autonomy simply means paying more tax

Pandaya | Jakarta Post, Online version | Jakarta | Mon, March 28 2016 | 10:33 am
 

Bylaws are made with the main intention of maximizing local income rather than improving public services and bureaucracy is often changed with the chief intent of increasing the PAD.

To achieve a sufficient PAD may not be a problem for regions blessed with abundant natural resources, like Kalimantan, industrial centers like Greater Jakarta or world-class tourist destinations like Bali. But it is an acute headache for impoverished areas, such as those in the arid East Nusa Tenggara.

Many regions resort to the laziest way of increasing their PAD ' raising their income from licensing and retribusi, fees local governments charge for the use of public facilities. In many cases, they mix up retribusi and tax, resulting in double taxation, especially in the mining and forestry sectors.

According to the SMERU Research Institute, local administrations have turned to retribusi because the funds provided by the central government are barely adequate to cover their routine spending, such as employees' salaries, while autonomy means they have had to expand their bureaucracy.

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