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Land Taxes and Revenue Needs as Communities Grow and

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Author Info

  • Suzi Kerr

    (Motu Economic & Public Policy Research)

  • Andrew Aitken

    (Motu Economic & Public Policy Research)

  • Arthur Grimes

    (Motu Economic & Public Policy Research)

Abstract

New Zealand is unusual in that nearly 60% of local services are funded from property taxes. These are a mixture of land taxes, capital value taxes, annual rental value taxes and uniform general charges. We explore the efficiency and equity of this system at both national and local levels. We find that the national property tax base is large relative to spending needs but that the variance in per capita tax bases across territorial local authorities is probably greater than is efficient or equitable. We find that land taxes are more progressive than capital value taxes. Our research also addresses local authorities’ ability to provide services as their property tax base changes as a result of external economic shocks. We consider the occurrence of and responses to “fiscal stress” in a system of local government that is heavily dependent on property taxation. We provide some examples of the wide range of actual responses by local councils faced with similar population changes. Finally, we offer some tentative conclusions and implications both for New Zealand local public finance and for the use of property taxes, and particularly land taxes, more broadly.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/pe/papers/0403/0403001.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Public Economics with number 0403001.

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Date of creation: 02 Mar 2004
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Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0403001

Note: Type of Document - pdf; prepared on word 2000; to print on pc;
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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Keywords: New Zealand; local government; property taxes; land taxes;

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References

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  1. Arthur Grimes & Suzi Kerr & Andrew Aitken, 2003. "Housing and Economic Adjustment," Urban/Regional 0310006, EconWPA.
  2. 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.
  3. Ballard, Charles L & Shoven, John B & Whalley, John, 1985. "General Equilibrium Computations of the Marginal Welfare Costs of Taxes in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 128-38, March.
  4. Suzi Kerr & Dave Maré & William Power & Jason Timmins, 2001. "Internal Mobility in New Zealand," Treasury Working Paper Series 01/04, New Zealand Treasury.
  5. Wai Kin Choy & David C Mare & Peter Mawson, 2002. "Modelling Regional Labour Market Adjustment in New Zealand," Treasury Working Paper Series 02/01, New Zealand Treasury.
  6. Suzi Kerr & Megan Claridge & Dominic Milicich, . "Devolution and the New Zealand Resource Management Act," Treasury Working Paper Series 98/07, New Zealand Treasury.
  7. James R. Hines & Richard H. Thaler, 1995. "The Flypaper Effect," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 217-226, Fall.
  8. W. Erwin Diewert & Denis A. Lawrence, 1996. "The Deadweight Costs of Taxation in New Zealand," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(s1), pages 658-73, April.
  9. Suzi Kerr & Jason Timmins, 2000. "Economic Geography and Spatial Statistics: Theory and Empirics of New Zealand Regions," Treasury Working Paper Series 00/11, New Zealand Treasury.
  10. 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.
  11. Jorgenson, Dale W & Yun, Kun-Young, 1990. "Tax Reform and U.S. Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S151-93, October.
  12. Suzie Ballantyne & Simon Chapple & David C. Maré & Jason Timmins, 2003. "Movements Into and Out of Child Poverty in New Zealand: Results from the Linked Income Supplement," Working Papers 03_13, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
  13. David C Mare & Peter Mawson & Jason Timmins, 2001. "Deprivation in New Zealand: Regional Patterns and Changes," Treasury Working Paper Series 01/09, New Zealand Treasury.
  14. Feldstein, Martin S, 1977. "The Surprising Incidence of a Tax on Pure Rent: A New Answer to an Old Question," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(2), pages 349-60, April.
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