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The Relationship Between State Income Taxes and Local Property Taxes: Education Finance in New Jersey

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  • Goodspeed, Timothy

Abstract

Abstract - New Jersey enacted an income tax in 1976 in response to a State Supreme Court ruling that held that local taxation alone violated the requirement of the State Constitution that all children receive a “thorough and efficient” education. The law required that revenues from the income tax be dedicated solely to relief of local property taxes. Most of the relief is given as aid to local school districts. This paper offers both a theoretical and an empirical analysis of the effect on local property taxes of changes in aid resulting from the 1990 increase in the income tax enacted under Governor Jim Florio and the beginning of the 1994 decrease in income taxes enacted under Governor Christine Whitman. The theoretical analysis is based on general equilibrium models developed over the previous two decades. The results indicate (1) a flypaper effect for both increases and decreases in aid, which may be more pronounced for decreases, and (2) that higher income districts choose to increase property taxes more than other districts when the income tax is reduced.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 29549.

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Date of creation: 1998
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Publication status: Published in National Tax Journal 2.51(1998): pp. 219-238
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:29549

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Web page: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de
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Keywords: education finance; grants; federalism; flypaper effect;

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References

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  1. Thomas J. Nechyba, 1996. "Local Property and State Income Taxes: The Role of Interjurisdictional Competition and Collusion," NBER Working Papers 5419, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Filimon, Radu & Romer, Thomas & Rosenthal, Howard, 1982. "Asymmetric information and agenda control : The bases of monopoly power in public spending," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 51-70, February.
  3. Bogart, William T. & Bradford, David F. & Williams, Michael G., 1992. "Incidence Effects of a State Fiscal Policy Shift: The Florio Initiatives in New Jersey," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 45(4), pages 371-87, December.
  4. Goodspeed, Timothy J., 1989. "A re-examination of the use of ability to pay taxes by local governments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 319-342, April.
  5. Epple, Dennis & Filimon, Radu & Romer, Thomas, 1984. "Equilibrium among local jurisdictions: toward an integrated treatment of voting and residential choice," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 281-308, August.
  6. Fischel, William A., 1989. "Did Serrano Cause Proposition 13?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 42(4), pages 465-73, December.
  7. Silva, Fabio & Sonstelie, Jon, 1995. "Did Serrano Cause a Decline in School Spending," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 48(2), pages 199-215, June.
  8. Raquel Fernandez & Richard Rogerson, 1997. "Education finance reform: A dynamic perspective," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(1), pages 67-84.
  9. Goodspeed, Timothy J., 1995. "Local income taxation: An externality, Pigouvian solution, and public policies," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 279-296, June.
  10. Romer, Thomas & Rosenthal, Howard, 1979. "Bureaucrats versus Voters: On the Political Economy of Resource Allocation by Direct Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 563-87, November.
  11. James R. Hines & Richard H. Thaler, 1995. "The Flypaper Effect," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 217-226, Fall.
  12. William T. Bogart & David F. Bradford & Michael G. Williams, 1992. "Incidence and Allocation Effects of a State Fiscal Policy Shift: The Florio Initiatives in New Jersey," NBER Working Papers 4177, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E., 1996. "Ends against the middle: Determining public service provision when there are private alternatives," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 297-325, November.
  14. Edward M. Gramlich & Harvy Galper, 1973. "State and Local Fiscal Behavior and Federal Grant Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 4(1), pages 15-66.
  15. Bradford, David F & Oates, Wallace E, 1971. "An Analysis of Revenue Sharing in a New Approach to Collective Fiscal Decisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 85(3), pages 416-39, August.
  16. Fisher, Ronald C., 1982. "Income and grant effects on local expenditure: The flypaper effect and other difficulties," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 324-345, November.
  17. Gamkhar, Shama & Oates, Wallace E., 1996. "Asymmetries in the Response to Increases and Decreases in Intergovernmental Grants: Some Empirical Findings," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 49(4), pages 501-12, December.
  18. Westhoff, Frank, 1977. "Existence of equilibria in economies with a local public good," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 84-112, February.
  19. Epple, Dennis & Romer, Thomas, 1991. "Mobility and Redistribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 828-58, August.
  20. Ross, Stephen & Yinger, John, 1999. "Sorting and voting: A review of the literature on urban public finance," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: P. C. Cheshire & E. S. Mills (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 47, pages 2001-2060 Elsevier.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Florence Lachet-Touya, 2012. "Les interactions fiscales verticales à la lumière de la théorie des multiprincipaux," Recherches économiques de Louvain, De Boeck Université, vol. 78(1), pages 27-46.
  2. Levaggi, Rosella & Zanola, Roberto, 2000. "The Flypaper Effect: Evidence from the Italian National Health System," POLIS Working Papers 10, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
  3. Lars-Erik Borge & Jørn Rattsø, 2001. "Income Distribution and Tax Structure: Microeconomic Test of the Meltzer-Richard Hypothesis," CESifo Working Paper Series 543, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Borge, Lars-Erik, 2000. "Charging for public services: the case of utilities in Norwegian local governments," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 703-718, December.
  5. Goodspeed, Timothy J., 2000. "Tax structure in a federation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 493-506, March.
  6. Gamkhar, Shama & Olson, Jerome A., 2001. "Asymmetric responses in economic models," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 553-568, July.

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