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Optimal Commodity Taxation when Land and Structures must be Taxed at the Same Rate

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  • Saku Aura
  • Thomas Davidoff

Abstract

We show that the optimal property tax rate rises with the ratio of land rents to structure and land development costs. California’s high ratio of income to property tax revenue and the distribution of Federal housing subsidies thus appear geographically misplaced. Proportional taxation of non-housing commodities is not optimal, even when elasticities with respect to wages are identical. Absent externalities, the desirability of transportation taxes and “anti-sprawl” growth controls hinge on the relative importance of time versus money in commuting costs.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1522.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1522

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  1. Berkovec, James & Fullerton, Don, 1992. "A General Equilibrium Model of Housing, Taxes, and Portfolio Choice," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 390-429, April.
  2. Thorsnes, Paul, 1997. "Consistent Estimates of the Elasticity of Substitution between Land and Non-Land Inputs in the Production of Housing," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 98-108, July.
  3. Lawrence H. Goulder & Roberton C. Williams III, 2003. "The Substantial Bias from Ignoring General Equilibrium Effects in Estimating Excess Burden, and a Practical Solution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(4), pages 898-927, August.
  4. Alan J. Auerbach & James R. Hines Jr., 2001. "Perfect Taxation with Imperfect Competition," NBER Working Papers 8138, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Munk, Knud Jorgen, 1978. " Optimal Taxation and Pure Profit," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 80(1), pages 1-19.
  6. Sven Rady, 2002. "Homeownership: Low household mobility, volatile housing prices, high income dispersion," FMG Discussion Papers dp432, Financial Markets Group.
  7. repec:rus:hseeco:126976 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Brueckner, Jan K & Kim, Hyun-A, 2003. "Urban Sprawl and the Property Tax," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 5-23, January.
  9. Robert E. Lucas & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2002. "On the Internal Structure of Cities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(4), pages 1445-1476, July.
  10. Davis, Morris A. & Heathcote, Jonathan, 2007. "The price and quantity of residential land in the United States," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 2595-2620, November.
  11. Joseph Gyourko & Todd Sinai, 2003. "The Spatial Distribution of Housing-Related Ordinary Income Tax Benefits," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 31(4), pages 527-575, December.
  12. Helsley, Robert W. & Sullivan, Arthur M., 1991. "Urban subcenter formation," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 255-275, July.
  13. Rady, Sven & Ortalo-Magné, François, 2002. "Homeownership," Discussion Papers in Economics 28, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  14. Dennis Epple & Holger Sieg, 1999. "Estimating Equilibrium Models of Local Jurisdictions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(4), pages 645-681, August.
  15. Martin Gervais, 1998. "Housing Taxation and Capital Accumulation," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9807, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  16. Harvey S. Rosen, 1983. "Housing Subsidies: Effects on Housing Decisions, Efficiency, and Equity," NBER Working Papers 1161, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Kai A. Konrad & Stergios Skaperdas, 2005. "The Market for Protection and the Origin of the State," CESifo Working Paper Series 1578, CESifo Group Munich.

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