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Tax Deductibility and Municipal Budget Structure

In: Fiscal Federalism: Quantitative Studies

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  • Douglas Holtz-Eakin
  • Harvey S . Rosen

Abstract

This paper investigates the effects of deductibility of local taxes on communities' budgetary decisions. Our focus is on how changes in the tax price of local spending induced by deductibility affect the mix between deductible and nondeductible revenue sources, and on expenditures. The econometric analysis is based on a rich data set that tracks the fiscal behavior of 172 local governments from 1978 to 1980. We find that the elasticity of deductible taxes with respect to the tax price is in the range -1.2 to -1.6; the tax price has no statistically significant effect on the use of nondeductible revenue sources; and the elasticity of local expenditures with respect to the tax price is about -1.8. Hence, if deductibility were eliminated, we would expect to see a substantial decline in local government spending.

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This chapter was published in:

  • Harvey S. Rosen, 1988. "Fiscal Federalism: Quantitative Studies," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number rose88-1, July.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 7885.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:7885

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    References

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    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.:
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    1. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
    2. Martin Feldstein & Gilbert Metcalf, 1986. "The Effect of Federal Tax Deductibility on State and Local Taxes and Spending," NBER Working Papers 1791, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Daniel R. Feenberg & Harvey S. Rosen, 1985. "The Deductibility of State and Local Taxes: Impact Effects by State and Income Class," NBER Working Papers 1768, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. White, Halbert, 1982. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Independent Observations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(2), pages 483-99, March.
    5. Hettich, Walter & Winer, Stanley, 1984. "A positive model of tax structure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 67-87, June.
    6. Robert P. Inman, 1985. "Does Deductibility Influence Local Taxation?," NBER Working Papers 1714, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:
    1. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Rosen, Harvey, 1990. "Federal deductibility and local property tax rates," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 269-284, May.
    2. Esteller-More, Alex & Sole-Olle, Albert, 2001. "Vertical income tax externalities and fiscal interdependence: evidence from the US," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2-3), pages 247-272, April.
    3. Nechyba, Thomas, 1996. "A computable general equilibrium model of intergovernmental aid," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 363-397, November.
    4. Joel Slemrod, 1992. "Do Taxes Matter? Lessons From the 1980s," NBER Working Papers 4008, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Alberto Sole Olle, 1998. "The effects of tax deductibility on the mix of property taxes and use charges: an empirical analysis of the spanish case," Working Papers in Economics 41, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.

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