One bit of fallout from the government’s failure to tax the nation is the fragile state of the island’s finances. The Taipei Times noted today:

Deputy Finance Minister Chen Shuh (陳樹) promised yesterday that the central government would ensure local governments received their subsidies on time, in the wake of a media report that 17 localities were so hard up that they were battling to pay their staff.

Chen told the Legislative Yuan’s Budget and Financial Accounts Committee that although the central government was just as cash-strapped, the Ministry of Finance would disburse all funds due to the local governments as scheduled.

Chen said that Tainan and Taipei counties were experiencing the most serious financial problems and that the ministry was planning to revise the relevant laws to allow the local governments to run larger deficits.

……..

The five localities experiencing the most serious problems were Changhua County, which posted a deficit of NT$7.65 billion; Taichung County, with a deficit of NT$7.01 billion; Tainan County, registering a deficit of NT$5.61 billion; Nantou County, with a deficit of NT$5.11 billion; and Pingtung County, which posted a deficit of NT$4.77 billion, the report said.