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Property taxes and elderly mobility

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  • Shan, Hui

Abstract

The 2000-2005 housing market boom in the U.S. has caused sharp increases in residential property taxes. Housing-rich but income-poor elderly homeowners often complain about rising tax burdens, and anecdotal evidence suggests that some move to reduce their tax burden. There has been little systematic analysis, however, of the link between property tax levels and the mobility rate of elderly homeowners. This paper investigates this link using household-level panel data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and a newly collected data set on state-provided property tax relief programs. These relief programs generate variation in effective property tax burdens that is not due solely to arguably endogenous local community choices about taxes and expenditure programs. The findings provide evidence suggesting that higher property taxes raise mobility among elderly homeowners. The point estimates from instrumental variable estimation using relief programs to generate instruments suggest that a $100 increase in annual property taxes is associated with a 0.73 percentage point increase in the 2-year mobility rate for homeowners over the age of 50. This is an 8 percent increase from the baseline 2-year mobility rate of 9 percent. These results are robust to alternative specifications.

Suggested Citation

  • Shan, Hui, 2010. "Property taxes and elderly mobility," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 194-205, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:67:y:2010:i:2:p:194-205
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    Cited by:

    1. Ferreira, Fernando, 2010. "You can take it with you: Proposition 13 tax benefits, residential mobility, and willingness to pay for housing amenities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(9-10), pages 661-673, October.
    2. Mulholland, Sean E. & Hernandez-Julian, Rey, 2013. "Does Economic Freedom Lead to Selective Migration By Education?," Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, Mid-Continent Regional Science Association, vol. 43(1).
    3. Sean E. Mulholland & Andrew T. Young, 2016. "Occupational Licensing and Interstate Migration," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 36(1), pages 17-31, Winter.
    4. Johnson, Erik & Walsh, Randall, 2013. "The effect of property taxes on vacation home growth rates: Evidence from Michigan," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(5), pages 740-750.
    5. Roberto Basile & Valerio Filoso, 2016. "The Market Value of Political Partisanship. Quasi-experimental Evidence from Municipal Elections," Gecomplexity Discussion Paper Series 201604, Action IS1104 "The EU in the new complex geography of economic systems: models, tools and policy evaluation", revised Mar 2016.
    6. David Albouy & Andrew Hanson, 2014. "Are Houses Too Big or In the Wrong Place? Tax Benefits to Housing and Inefficiencies in Location and Consumption," Tax Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(1), pages 63-96.
    7. Calvo, Esteban & Haverstick, Kelly & Zhivan, Natalia, 2009. "Determinants and Consequences of Moving Decisions for Older Homeowners," MPRA Paper 48964, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Hui Shan, 2008. "Property taxes and elderly labor supply," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2008-51, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    9. Moulton, Stephanie & Haurin, Donald R. & Shi, Wei, 2015. "An analysis of default risk in the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 17-34.
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    11. David Albouy & Andrew Hanson, 2014. "Tax Benefits to Housing and Inefficiencies in Location and Consumption," NBER Working Papers 19815, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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