Streamlined Tax Administration in Rio de Janeiro: Implementing Nota Carioca, 2009-2014

Neil Fowler

A complex paper-based city tax collection system made Rio de Janeiro a difficult environment for business and a source of lost revenue when Eduardo Paes became mayor in 2009. Elected on a promise to set the city’s fiscal house in order, Paes planned to implement an electronic invoicing system based on similar programs piloted in other Brazilian cities. A recent constitutional amendment required all levels of Brazil’s federal system of government to ease the burdens of the country’s tax system. Paes reasoned that the potential efficiency gain from a new system was among the few routes available for increasing revenue. His team had to overcome significant challenges to implement the new system and ensure participation by consumers in monitoring tax payments. Strong political and technical leadership, collaboration, and good design helped to successfully implement the new system, called Nota Carioca. This case study offers other governments at the national or subnational levels useful lessons in improving revenue administration and implementing reforms that feature information technology, stakeholder communication, and partnerships.

Year of publication: 
Princeton Innovations for Successful Societies
Themes and sectors: 
Decentralisation and local government
Themes and sectors: 
Public administration
Case story length: 
13 pages

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