Explain the important reasons for the emergence of horizontal federal fiscal imbalance.
A horizontal fiscal imbalance (HFI) emerges when sub-national governments have different abilities to raise funds from their tax bases and to provide services. This creates differences in ‘net fiscal benefits’, which are a combination of levels of taxation and public services. It is these NFBs which are the main cause of horizontal fiscal disparities that in turn generate the need for equalization grants. Prominent among the objectives commonly attributed to intergovernmental fiscal transfers is ‘equalization’ of fiscal capacities or resolution of Horizontal Fiscal Imbalances.