Colombia has two sub-national levels of government: Departments and Municipalities. Both have political, administrative, and fiscal autonomy guaranteed by the Constitution.
This autonomy is not absolute, as it is limited by the constitution itself and by national laws and regulations with limited fiscal autonomy. However, municipalities and districts have a diverse range of instruments and sources of their resources, being able to apply rates or fees for the provision of services and compensation. There are more than 15 different local taxes, among which the Industry and Commerce Tax, the Unified Property Tax, and the Gasoline Surcharge stand out, as they are the ones that generate the highest revenue in the municipalities. Colombia is a leader in the region, together with Brazil, in the development of regulatory frameworks for urban management and land value capture.
Municipalities also have other types of income from:
•Transfers, derived from the General Participation System funds. Most of Colombian municipalities are highly dependent on this type of transfers, becoming the main source of resources for small and medium-sized municipalities.
• General System of Royalties derived from the exploitation of Non-Renewable Natural Resources, which are destined for investment projects
• Access to external income: internal and external public debt, international cooperation funds and donations, Public-Private Partnerships.
Colombia has multiple laws that guide and create the institutions, instruments, and technical guidelines to carry out urban and rural land use planning. The territorial planning is carried out through a macro division of the territory into territorial entities, which are: the central government, the departments, the capital district, and the municipalities. Land-use planning in the country is guided by Law 388 of 1997, which establishes the technical guidelines, authorities and instruments related to the territorial ordering of municipalities and districts. Together with Law 152 of 1994 and the Law 1454 of 2011 on land management, the main institutional frameworks that direct and regulate land use and planning processes in the country are established.