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The Property Tax Incidence Debate and the Mix of State and Local Finance of Local Public Expenditures

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  • George R. Zodrow

    ()
    (Baker Institute for Public Policy, Rice University)

Abstract

Many states in the US have in recent years changed the mix of state and local revenue sources used to finance local public expenditures, especially primary and secondary education, with local property taxes being replaced by various sources of state tax revenue. This article examines the desirability of such a tax substitution, focusing on the implications of the long-standing debate between the “benefit tax” and “capital tax” views of the incidence of the tax. It also includes a discussion of some recent research that elaborates the capital tax view of the property tax.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation in its series Working Papers with number 0801.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:btx:wpaper:0801

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Keywords: Property tax incidence; capitalization; capital tax view; new view; benefit tax view; Texas tax reform; margin tax;

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  1. Zodrow, George R. & Mieszkowski, Peter M., 1986. "The new view of the property tax A reformulation," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-327, August.
  2. Mieszkowski, Peter & Zodrow, George R, 1989. "Taxation and the Tiebout Model: The Differential Effects of Head Taxes, Taxes on Land Rents, and Property Taxes," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(3), pages 1098-1146, September.
  3. Caroline M. Hoxby & Ilyana Kuziemko, 2004. "Robin Hood and His Not-So-Merry Plan: Capitalization and the Self-Destruction of Texas' School Finance Equalization Plan," NBER Working Papers 10722, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Kotlikoff, Laurence J. & Summers, Lawrence H., 1987. "Tax incidence," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 16, pages 1043-1092 Elsevier.
  5. Wilson, John D., 1986. "A theory of interregional tax competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 296-315, May.
  6. Caroline M. Hoxby, 1998. "All School Finance Equalizations Are Not Created Equal," NBER Working Papers 6792, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Michael Keen & David Wildasin, 2004. "Pareto-Efficient International Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 259-275, March.
  8. WILDASIN, David E., . "Interjurisdictional capital mobility: Fiscal externality and a corrective subsidy," CORE Discussion Papers RP -831, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  9. Glaeser, Edward L, 1996. " The Incentive Effects of Property Taxes on Local Governments," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 89(1-2), pages 93-111, October.
  10. Fischel, William A., 2001. "Homevoters, Municipal Corporate Governance, and the Benefit View of the Property Tax," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(n. 1), pages 157-74, March.
  11. Wilson, John Douglas & Wildasin, David E., 2004. "Capital tax competition: bane or boon," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(6), pages 1065-1091, June.
  12. Bradford, David F., 1978. "Factor prices may be constant but factor returns are not," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 199-203.
  13. Hoyt, William H., 1991. "Competitive jurisdictions, congestion, and the Henry George Theorem : When should property be taxed instead of land?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 351-370, November.
  14. Rubinfeld, Daniel L., 1987. "The economics of the local public sector," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 11, pages 571-645 Elsevier.
  15. Krelove, R., 1993. "The persistence and inefficiency of property tax finance of local public expenditures," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 415-435, July.
  16. Flatters, Frank & Henderson, Vernon & Mieszkowski, Peter, 1974. "Public goods, efficiency, and regional fiscal equalization," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 99-112, May.
  17. Mieszkowski, Peter, 1972. "The property tax: An excise tax or a profits tax?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 73-96, April.
  18. Zodrow, George R, 2003. "Tax Competition and Tax Coordination in the European Union," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 10(6), pages 651-71, November.
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  21. Fischel, William A, 1992. "Property Taxation and the Tiebout Model: Evidence for the Benefit View from Zoning and Voting," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(1), pages 171-77, March.
  22. Gravelle Jane G & Smetters Kent A., 2006. "Does the Open Economy Assumption Really Mean That Labor Bears the Burden of a Capital Income Tax?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-44, August.
  23. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 269-304, June.
  24. Wassmer, Robert W., 1993. "Property Taxation, Property Base, and Property Value: An Empirical Test of the 'New View'," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 46(2), pages 135-59, June.
  25. Hamilton, Bruce W, 1976. "Capitalization of Intrajurisdictional Differences in Local Tax Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(5), pages 743-53, December.
  26. Sullivan, Arthur M., 1984. "The general equilibrium effects of the industrial property tax: Incidence and excess burden," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 547-563, November.
  27. Zodrow, George R. & Mieszkowski, Peter, 1986. "Pigou, Tiebout, property taxation, and the underprovision of local public goods," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 356-370, May.
  28. Zodrow, George R., 2001. "The Property Tax as a Capital Tax: A Room with Three Views," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(n. 1), pages 139-56, March.
  29. Zodrow,George R. & Mieszkowski,Peter (ed.), 2002. "United States Tax Reform in the 21st Century," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521803830.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. David E. Wildasin, 2009. "Fiscal Competition for Imperfectly-Mobile Labor and Capital: A Comparative Dynamic Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 2808, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Edoardo Di Porto & Federico Revelli, 2009. "Central command, local hazard and the race to the top," Working Papers 2009/26, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  3. Athiphat Muthitacharoen & George R. Zodrow, 2008. "The Efficiency Costs of Local Property Tax," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0815, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.

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