Jamaica is a constitutional monarchy. Since 2013 the country led a local government reform focused on the promulgation of strategic laws empowering local governance. In 2015 the country made a local governance bill with the aim, as the Ministry of Local Government states, to provide for the comprehensive reform of Jamaica’s local government system, through which Local Authorities will be granted greater scope and autonomy in the management of local affairs. The instrument created is the Parochial Revenue fund (PRF) which is controlled and managed by the central government and collects the principal income of local governments which are paid in accordance with the Property Tax Act and Road Traffic Act, the first being the most important source of revenue for the local authorities.
Territorial planning in Jamaica is performed on different levels. On the national level, various policies and development plans determine this process, such as the Visión 2030 Jamaica. National Development Plan and the National Land Policy, which represents the first document of its kind in Jamaica. It highlights the need to engage in urban and territorial planning and proposes a long- and medium-term framework to address sustainable urban development. On the local level, Development Orders, the legal documents prepared under the Town and Country Planning Act, are used to guide development by the planning authorities; the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development is the principal agency responsible for overseeing and guiding the advancements in the realm of the local development strategies.