Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Assessing the Federal Deduction for State and Local Tax Payments

Contents:

Author Info

  • Gilbert E. Metcalf

Abstract

Federal deductibility for state and local taxes constitutes one of the largest tax expenditures in the federal budget and provides a significant source of federal support to state and local governments. Deductibility was restricted in the Tax Reform Act of 1986 by removing the deduction for general sales taxes. More recently the President's Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform recommended eliminating the deduction altogether as one of several revenue-raising initiatives to finance comprehensive tax reform. I carry out a number of distributional analyses – considering both variation across income and across states – of the subsidy from deductibility as well as the distributional impact of potential partial reforms. In addition, I consider three counterfactuals for 2004 – a tax system without the Bush tax cuts for 2001 and 2003, a tax system without the 2004 AMT patch, and a tax system without the AMT – to see how the benefits of deductibility are affected by these changes in the tax law. Next I consider how behavioral responses affect the tax expenditure estimates. Feldstein and Metcalf (1987) argued that tax expenditures overestimate the revenue gain from eliminating deductibility as they do not take into account a likely shift away from once-deductible taxes to non-deductible taxes and fees in the absence of deductibility. Many of these latter taxes and fees are paid by businesses. As business costs rise, federal business tax collections would fall, offsetting some of the gains of ending deductibility. Feldstein and Metcalf also found that ending deductibility would have little if any impact on state and local spending itself. Using a large panel of data on state and local governments, I revisit this issue and find that the Feldstein-Metcalf results are robust to adding more years of analysis.

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/papers/w14023.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14023.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: May 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Metcalf, Gilbert E., 2011. "Assessing The Federal Deduction For State And Local Tax Payments," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 64(2), pages 565-90, June Cita.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14023

Note: PE
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:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

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. Harvey S. Rosen, 1988. "Fiscal Federalism: Quantitative Studies," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number rose88-1, October.
  2. Hettich, Walter & Winer, Stanley, 1984. "A positive model of tax structure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 67-87, June.
  3. Saez, Emmanuel, 2004. "Direct or indirect tax instruments for redistribution: short-run versus long-run," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 503-518, March.
  4. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1981. "Self-Selection and Pareto Efficient Taxation," NBER Working Papers 0632, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Metcalf, Gilbert E., 1992. "Deductibility and optimal state and local fiscal policy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 217-221, June.
  6. Naito, Hisahiro, 1999. "Re-examination of uniform commodity taxes under a non-linear income tax system and its implication for production efficiency," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 165-188, February.
  7. Chernick, Howard, 2005. "On the Determinants of Subnational Tax Progressivity in the U.S," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 58(1), pages 93-112, March.
  8. 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.
  9. Harvey S. Rosen, 1988. "Introduction to "Fiscal Federalism: Quantitative Studies"," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Federalism: Quantitative Studies, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Daniel Feenberg & Elisabeth Coutts, 1993. "An introduction to the TAXSIM model," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(1), pages 189-194.
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:
  1. Christian A. L. Hilber & Tracy M. Turner, 2010. "The mortgage interest deduction and its impact on homeownership decisions," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 31759, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Howard Chernick & Jennifer Tennant, 2010. "Federal-State Tax Interactions in the United States and Canada," Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Oxford University Press, vol. 40(3), pages 508-533, Summer.

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:nberwo:14023. 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.