Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Notes on the Tax Treatment of Structures

In: The Effects of Taxation on Capital Accumulation

Contents:

Author Info

  • Roger H. Gordon
  • James R. Hines, Jr.
  • Lawrence H. Summers

Abstract

More than three quarters of the United States tangible capital stock represents structures. Tax policies potentially have a major impact on both the level and composition of investment in structures and equipment. This point is explicitly recognized in most discussions of the effects of capital income taxation. Two aspects of the taxation of structures --the relative burden placed on structures as opposed to equipment investment and the non-taxation of owner occupied housing under the income tax -- have attracted substantial attention in recent years. This paper explores these two aspects of the taxation of structures investments. While the tax system may well have a potent impact on the level and composition of structures investment, this paper argues that conventional analyses of these effects are very misleading. We reach two main conclusions. First,under current tax law, certain types of structures investment are very highly tax favored. Structures can be transferred and therefore depreciated more than once, and structures may be readily financed with tax-favored debt. Overall, itis unlikely that a significant bias towards equipment and against structures exists under current law. Second, the conventional view that the tax system is biased in favor of homeownership is wrong. Because of the possibility of "tax arbitrage" between high bracket landlords and low bracket tenants, the tax system has long favored rental over ownership for most households. The 1981 reforms by reducing the top marginal tax rate reduced this bias somewhat.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.nber.org/chapters/c11350.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

as in new window

This chapter was published in:

  • Martin Feldstein, 1987. "The Effects of Taxation on Capital Accumulation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number feld87-1, October.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 11350.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:11350

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Email:
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research

    Keywords:

    Other versions of this item:

    References

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
    as in new window
    1. David F. Bradford & Don Fullerton, 1982. "Pitfalls in the Construction and Use of Effective Tax Rates," NBER Working Papers 0688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Alan J. Auerbach & James M. Poterba, 1986. "Tax Loss Carryforwards and Corporate Tax Incentives," NBER Working Papers 1863, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Rosen, Harvey S., 1985. "Housing subsidies: Effects on housing decisions, efficiency, and equity," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 375-420 Elsevier.
    4. Don Fullerton & Roger H. Gordon, 1983. "A Reexamination of Tax Distortions in General Equilibrium Models," NBER Chapters, in: Behavioral Simulation Methods in Tax Policy Analysis, pages 369-426 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
    6. Alan J. Auerbach, 1985. "Real Determinants of Corporate Leverage," NBER Chapters, in: Corporate Capital Structures in the United States, pages 301-324 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Constantinides, George M, 1983. "Capital Market Equilibrium with Personal Tax," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(3), pages 611-36, May.
    8. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1986. "Some Aspects of the Taxation of Capital Gains," NBER Working Papers 1094, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Modigliani, Franco, 1982. " Debt, Dividend Policy, Taxes, Inflation and Market Valuation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 37(2), pages 255-73, May.
    10. Titman, Sheridan D, 1982. " The Effects of Anticipated Inflation on Housing Market Equilibrium," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 37(3), pages 827-42, June.
    11. White, Michelle J, 1983. " Bankruptcy Costs and the New Bankruptcy Code," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(2), pages 477-88, May.
    12. DeAngelo, Harry & Masulis, Ronald W., 1980. "Optimal capital structure under corporate and personal taxation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 3-29, March.
    13. Jeremy I. Bulow & Lawrence H. Summers, 1984. "The Taxation of Risky Assets," NBER Working Papers 0897, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. James M. Poterba & Lawrence H. Summers, 1985. "The Economic Effects of Dividend Taxation," NBER Working Papers 1353, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Alan J. Auerbach & James R. Hines Jr., 1986. "Tax Reform, Investment, and the Value of the Firm," NBER Working Papers 1803, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Gailen L. Hite & Anthony B. Sanders, 1981. "Excess Depreciation and the Maximum Tax," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 9(2), pages 134-147.
    17. Patric H. Hendershott & David C. Ling, 1984. "Trading and the Tax Shelter Value of Depreciable Real Estate," NBER Working Papers 1267, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Roger H. Gordon, 1982. "Interest Rates, Inflation, and Corporate Financial Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 13(2), pages 461-491.
    19. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:11350. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.