中國大陸於1994 年實行的「分稅制」，將稅源轉為鄉鎮自籌資金收入，使得鄉鎮政府的角色轉為「贏利型經紀人」。2006 年廢除農業稅後，鄉鎮政府如何轉型？此一問題至關重要，不僅涉及農村之國家與社會關係之再塑造，也關乎基層政權性質與結構調整問題。賦予基層更多處理本地事務的自主權力，從而激發和激活鄉村基層的內在動力與活力，為農村經濟改革成功的主要因素之一。正如鄧小平所說：「調動積極性，權力下放是最主要的內容。我們農村改革之所以會見效，就是因為給農民更多的自主權，調動了農民的積極性。」而近來所進行的基層政府改革，似乎希望能解決「一放就亂、一收就死」的循環。但無論是「代理人」或「經紀人」的模式，均著重於行政舉措的改革，若適度引入民意代表制度方向的改革思考，更可符合法治國家的作為。稅費改革的直接效果是大幅減輕農民負擔，而問題則是基層財政收支的嚴重不對稱，在中央轉移支付不到位的狀況下，巨額的收支缺口成為迫切需要解決的問題。財政危機或能成為財政民主、甚至是政治體制改革的最佳切入點。 The policy to divide taxes between the central government and local governments in 1994 deprived the latter with important source of revenue. Local governments at the xiang/zheng level are particularly hard-hit, forcing them to become “entrepreneurial brokers”. The xiang/zheng governments were dealt with another blow in 2006 when the agricultural tax was abolished. What have the local governments done to salvage the poor financial state? The issue concerns not only with the remaking of the relations between the state and the society but also with the structural readjustments at the grass-roots level. One of the most important reasons contributing to China’s economic success since the 1980’s has been the policy of providing incentives to the Chinese people by giving more autonomy to the local governments. Local politicians have more discretion in deciding matters affecting their economic developments than before. Reforms of the governments at the grass-roots level in recent years seem to aim at redressing the choric circle of “decentralization leads to chaos but centralization leads to stagnation”. However, reforms at the grass-roots level, whether local governments’ role are made to be “agents” of the central government or “entrepreneurial brokers”, seem to be confined to administrative readjustments. However, if the people’s congress system can be rejuvenated it will bring local politics in China more in conformity with the governance under the rules of law. The abolition of the agricultural taxes has alleviated farmers’ burden tremendously; but it has also aggravated the financial difficulties that had plagued the local governments. However, pinned down by its own financial burden the central government has not been able to come to the rescue. It is possible that this dire situation might actually lead to more substantial political reforms.