The Effect of Federal Tax Deductibility on State and Local Taxes and Spending
AbstractThis paper examines the effect of federal deductibility of state and local taxes on the fiscal behavior of state and local governments. The primary finding is that deductibility affects the way that state-local governments finance their spending as well as the overall level of spending. More specifically, in states where federal deductibility implies a relatively low cost of using deductible personal taxes (including income,sales and property taxes), there is greater reliance on those taxes and less reliance on business taxes and other revenue sources.The effect of deductibility on the state-local financial mix implies that deductibility has a much lower cost to the federal government than has previously been assumed. Indeed, if deductibility causes a large enough shift of financing from business taxes to personal taxes, deductibility may actually raise federal tax receipts. The analysis also implies that deductibility is likely to be a more cost-effective way than direct grants for raising the general level of state-local government spending. The present study uses the individual tax return data in the NBER TAXSIM model to calculate federal tax prices for itemizers and other taxpayers in each state. The econometric analysis recognizes that the federal tax price is endogenous (because it reflects the state-local spending decisions) and therefore uses a consistent instrumental variable procedure. This use of instrumental variable estimation exacerbates the difficulty of making precise estimates from the data. The relatively large standard errors indicate the need for caution in interpreting the point estimates.
Download InfoIf 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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1791.
Date of creation: Jan 1986
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Feldstein, Martin and Gilbert Metcalf. "The Effect of Federal Tas Deductibility on State and Local Taxes and Spending," Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 95, No. 4, pp. 710-736, August 1987.
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- Feldstein, Martin S & Metcalf, Gilbert E, 1987. "The Effect of Federal Tax Deductibility on State and Local Taxes and Spending," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(4), pages 710-36, August.
- Metcalf, Gilbert & Feldstein, Martin, 1987. "The Effect of Federal Tax Deductibility on State and Local Taxes and Spending," Scholarly Articles 2766699, Harvard University Department of Economics.
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral 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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.