This article deals with the fiscal and financial relations between the
national government and the provincial governments in Argentina during the last 15 years, identifying the factors which help to explain the high degree of conflictivity of those relations. In view of the institutional roots of the conflict, a historical review is made in order to place the recent problems and future discussion in a long-term context. First of all, the development of federalism in Argentina and the evolution of the various forms of autonomy of the provinces is examined, followed, in the central section of the document, by a review of the options that have dominated the changes in the functions and incomes of the different levels of
government in recent decades. Those options have to do not only with the distribution of taxes but also with the process of decentralization and the changes in functions among levels of government.