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Proposition 13 and Its Offspring: For Good or for Evil?

  • McGuire, Therese J.
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    The answer to the question posed in the title depends on which model of local government behavior is operative. If it is the median-voter/benevolent-dictator model, then property tax limits can only be for evil. If it is the Leviathan/budget-maximizing-bureaucratic model, then property tax limits have the potential to improve the welfare of local resident voters. From this perspective, I reassess the empirical literature on state-imposed limits on local property taxes and conclude that the evidence can be interpreted as supportive of the notion that the Leviathan model may be operative and thus that property tax limits have the potential to improve welfare.

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    Article provided by National Tax Association in its journal National Tax Journal.

    Volume (Year): 52 (1999)
    Issue (Month): n. 1 (March)
    Pages: 129-38

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    Handle: RePEc:ntj:journl:v:52:y:1999:i:n._1:p:129-38
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    1. David M. Cutler & Douglas W. Elmendorf & Richard J. Zeckhauser, 1997. "Restraining the Leviathan: Property Tax Limitation in Massachusetts," NBER Working Papers 6196, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Downes, Thomas A. & Dye, Richard F. & McGuire, Therese J., 1998. "Do Limits Matter? Evidence on the Effects of Tax Limitations on Student Performance," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 401-417, May.
    3. Downes, Thomas A, 1996. " An Examination of the Structure of Governance in California School Districts before and after Proposition 13," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 86(3-4), pages 279-307, March.
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