Local governments in Indonesia administer taxes inefficiently. The average cost of local tax administration as a percentage of revenue generated is estimated to be over 50%. There is, however, a wide variation in administrative inefficiency across local governments. The estimation of a stochastic cost frontier model suggests that administrative cost inefficiency increases significantly as fiscal transfers from the centre rise; the investigation also demonstrates that local governments with elected executives are no more administratively cost efficient than those with appointed heads. The simple and complex measures of cost inefficiency yield broadly similar results concerning the level and variation of inefficiency across local governments, but can offer significantly different estimates of the relative inefficiency of individual local governments. This poses a dilemma for the central government in monitoring and evaluating local government tax administration performance.