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Should land and capital be taxed at a uniform rate?


  • Kangoh Lee


If jurisdictions are allowed to tax land and capital separately, they tax only land, because capital taxation distorts the allocation of mobile capital. To exploit absentee owners, however, jurisdictions tax land beyond the efficient level. As absentee ownership increases throughout the economy, land taxation results in greater inefficiency. To alleviate the inefficiency of overtaxing land, the higher-level government intervenes to require jurisdictions to tax both capital and land at a uniform rate, because the desire to attract capital lowers the tax rate. Uniform taxation of land and capital, or property taxation, thus may be more efficient than separate taxation.

Suggested Citation

  • Kangoh Lee, 2003. "Should land and capital be taxed at a uniform rate?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 36(2), pages 350-372, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:36:y:2003:i:2:p:350-372

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Michael Baker, 2002. "The Retirement Behavior of Married Couples: Evidence from the Spouse's Allowance," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(1), pages 1-34.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kunce, Mitch & Shogren, Jason F., 2008. "Efficient decentralized fiscal and environmental policy: A dual purpose Henry George tax," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 569-573, April.
    2. Petrucci, Alberto, 2006. "The incidence of a tax on pure rent in a small open economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 921-933, May.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue


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