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Can state and local governments rely on alternative tax sources?


  • William F. Fox


State governments are much more likely than their local counterparts to depend on taxes other than sales, property, and personal income taxes. Excises on alcohol, beer, tobacco, gambling, and business taxes are among the alternative taxes. Local governments, on the other hand, are more likely to impose user fees. Reliance on these alternative state tax sources in aggregate has diminished over the past several decades, despite a pattern of rate increases and new gambling alternatives. Competitive pressures between states and with the federal government are likely to continue limiting reliance on these alternatives. Further, the same competitive forces are reshaping state corporate taxes to operate more like taxes on consumption than the traditional focus on taxing corporate production. In addition, states are seeking to broaden the set of business taxpayers to include those exploiting the state’s market and noncorporate businesses.

Suggested Citation

  • William F. Fox, 2010. "Can state and local governments rely on alternative tax sources?," Regional Economic Development, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Oct, pages 88-101.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlrd:y:2010:i:oct:p:88-101:n:v.6no.1

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Garrett, Thomas A. & Coughlin, Cletus C., 2009. "Inter–Temporal Differences in the Income Elasticity of Demand for Lottery Tickets," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 62(1), pages 77-99, March.
    2. Lovenheim, Michael F., 2008. "How Far to the Border?: The Extent and Impact of Cross-Border Casual Cigarette Smuggling," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 61(1), pages 7-33, March.
    3. Mark W. Nichols & Mehmet Serkan Tosun, 2007. "The Income Elasticity of Casino Revenues: Short-Run and Long-Run Estimates," Working Papers 07-015, University of Nevada, Reno, Department of Economics;University of Nevada, Reno , Department of Resource Economics.
    4. Devereux, M.P. & Lockwood, B. & Redoano, M., 2007. "Horizontal and vertical indirect tax competition: Theory and some evidence from the USA," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 451-479, April.
    5. Landry, Craig E. & Price, Michael K., 2007. "Earmarking lottery proceeds for public goods: Empirical evidence from U.S. lotto expenditures," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 95(3), pages 451-455, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Di Bella, Enrico & Gandullia, Luca & Leporatti, Lucia, 2015. "The Impact of Gambling on Government Budget: A European Comparison with a Focus on Italy - L’impatto del gioco d’azzardo sul bilancio dello stato: un confronto europeo e analisi del contesto italiano," Economia Internazionale / International Economics, Camera di Commercio Industria Artigianato Agricoltura di Genova, vol. 68(2), pages 187-212.
    2. di Bella, Enrico & Gandullia, Luca & Leporatti, Lucia, 2014. "Short and long run income elasticity of gambling tax bases: evidence from Italy," MPRA Paper 73757, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    State finance ; Local finance;


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