Political Economy of Property Tax Reform: Hawaii’s Experiment with Split Rate Property Taxation
AbstractEconomic theory suggests that switching from a general property tax to a split-rate tax increases land use efficiency and stimulates urban core development while preserving the environment and reducing urban sprawl. Under split-rate property taxation, land is typically taxed at a significantly higher rate than improvements. Beginning in 1965 Hawaii experimented with a statewide split-rate property tax system to encourage economic growth and effect land reform. The experiment was ended in 1977. Following the transfer of property taxing powers to the counties in 1978, some counties brought back the split-rate property tax at times. Since 2006, Kauai County has adopted the unusual practice of taxing improvements at a higher rate than land for most property classes. This paper chronicles and explains the rationale behind Hawaii state and county experiments with split rate property taxation.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 200915.
Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 07 Dec 2009
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
- Sally Kwak & James Mak, 2011. "Political Economy of Property Tax Reform: Hawaii's Experiment with Split‐Rate Property Taxation," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(1), pages 4-29, January.
- H - Public Economics
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-11-14 (All new papers)
- NEP-TUR-2009-11-14 (Tourism Economics)
- NEP-URE-2009-11-14 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
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.:
- Bowman, John H. & Bell, Michael E., 2008. "Distributional Consequences of Converting the Property Tax to a Land Value Tax: Replication and Extension of England and Zhao," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 61(4), pages 593-607, December .
- Oates, Wallace E. & Schwab, Robert M., 1997. "The Impact of Urban Land Taxation: The Pittsburgh Experience," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 50(1), pages 1-21, March Cit.
- Richard L. Pollock & Donald C. Shoup, 1977. "The Effect of Shifting the Property Tax Base from Improvement Value to Land Value: An Empirical Estimate," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 53(1), pages 67-77.
- Jeffrey P. Cohen & Cletus C. Coughlin, 2005. "An introduction to two-rate taxation of land and buildings," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 359-374.
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