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Local government in Iceland. Vilhjalmur Th. Vilhjalmsson chairman The Association of Local Authorities in Iceland. Some historical facts. The history of local authorities in Iceland dates back to the beginning of the tenth century - soon after the settlement of Iceland in 874.

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Local government in Iceland

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Local government in Iceland

Vilhjalmur Th. Vilhjalmsson

chairman

The Association of Local Authorities in Iceland


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Some historical facts

  • The history of local authorities in Iceland dates back to the beginning of the tenth century - soon after the settlement of Iceland in 874.

  • In the beginning the local authorities had certain social responsibilities.

  • They enjoyed a right of self-government and had independent source of income.

  • Under foreign rule, from 1262, the power of local authorities was greatly reduced.

  • At the beginning of the 19th century, the ancient form of local self-government no longer existed.

Samband íslenskra sveitarfélaga – The Association of Local Authorities in Iceland


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Some historical facts

  • Local government restored in 1872 by the Royal Danish Decree on Local Government Act.

  • The municipal boundaries established by law was based on the ancient communes and did not change much for the next 120 years.

Samband íslenskra sveitarfélaga – The Association of Local Authorities in Iceland


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Nordic structure of local government

  • The structure of local government in Iceland is of Nordic origin and in many fundamental ways similiar to the present structure in the other Nordic countries.

  • The main difference is that in Iceland there is only one level of local government and due to that and to the number of many small municipalities the local government in Iceland are responsible for lesser percentage of the public sector than in the other Nordic countries.

Samband íslenskra sveitarfélaga – The Association of Local Authorities in Iceland


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Part in public expenditure

Samband íslenskra sveitarfélaga – The Association of Local Authorities in Iceland


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The responsibilities of local government

  • Social services

    • Basic social and financial assistance.

    • Daycare for children.

    • Child welfare.

  • Education, culture, sports and recreation

    • Primary schools (6-15 years)

    • Music-schools

    • Sportfacilities, culture centers, museums and libraries

    • Support to arts, theatre groups, sportclubs, volunteer groups etc.

Samband íslenskra sveitarfélaga – The Association of Local Authorities in Iceland


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The responsibilities of local government

  • Infrastructure

    • Building, maintenance, and operation of streets, sewage, water and electricity works, as well as district heatings.

    • Municipal planning and building inspection.

    • Public parks and open areas.

    • Surveillance of public and enviromental health.

    • Fire services.

    • Public transport.

    • Waste management and collection.

    • Harbours.

Samband íslenskra sveitarfélaga – The Association of Local Authorities in Iceland


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Municipal Finances

  • The tax base is defined as taxes and payments from The Local Government Equalizations fund.

    • 63% of municipal revenues are from the local income tax

    • 17% are from service income

    • 11% taxes on real properties

    • 8% is from The Municipal Equalizations Fund.

    • 1% others

Samband íslenskra sveitarfélaga – The Association of Local Authorities in Iceland


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Operating Costs

Samband íslenskra sveitarfélaga – The Association of Local Authorities in Iceland


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The number of municipalities

  • In 1990 Iceland was divided into 204 municipalities.

  • In 2005 Iceland is divides into 101 municipalities.

  • The municipalities are in the midst of an amalgamation process.

Samband íslenskra sveitarfélaga – The Association of Local Authorities in Iceland


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The number of municipalities

Samband íslenskra sveitarfélaga – The Association of Local Authorities in Iceland


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104 municipalities in 2004

Samband íslenskra sveitarfélaga – The Association of Local Authorities in Iceland


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46 municipalities in 2006 ??

Samband íslenskra sveitarfélaga – The Association of Local Authorities in Iceland


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The Association of Local Authorities

  • The Association of Local Authorities in Iceland is the forum for co-operation between the local authorities.

  • It was established in 1945 by 52 local authorities.

  • Since 1973 all local authorities in Iceland have been members of the association.

  • The Association provides various services and information to the local authorities.

  • The Association takes responsibility for common tasks such as collective bargaining with unions of municipal employees.

Samband íslenskra sveitarfélaga – The Association of Local Authorities in Iceland


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The Association of Local Authorities

  • According to the Local Government Act The Association of Local Authorities in Iceland is responsible for safeguarding the common interest of the Icelandic local governments.

  • The Association has colloboration contract with the State and the Government of Iceland.

  • The State is obliged by law to consult the Association on the affairs of the local governments.

Samband íslenskra sveitarfélaga – The Association of Local Authorities in Iceland


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The organisation of the Association

General

assembly

Municipality Credit Iceland

BOARD

Emergency Relief Fund

The Municipal Harbour Association

Executive director

Secretaritat and

publishing

11 employees

Development and international affairs

1 employee

Finance and statistic

2 employees

Legal

affairs

2 employees

Negotiation with trade unions

4 employees

EU Committee

Wage Commission

Development Committee

Samband íslenskra sveitarfélaga – The Association of Local Authorities in Iceland


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