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Measuring Non–School Fiscal Disparities Among Municipalities


  • Bradbury, Katharine
  • Zhao, Bo


This paper develops new measures of non–school revenue capacity and environmental costs for Massachusetts cities and towns as the basis for a new municipal aid formula. On the capacity side, we account for the constraints of a tax limitation by estimating them as a function of residents’ incomes, and also take account of non–property–tax revenue sources and non–municipal budget obligations. On the cost side, we quantify the effects on local non–school spending of characteristics related to environmental costs, controlling for preferences, efficiency, and non–school local revenue capacity. Our approach is potentially applicable to other states.

Suggested Citation

  • Bradbury, Katharine & Zhao, Bo, 2009. "Measuring Non–School Fiscal Disparities Among Municipalities," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 62(1), pages 25-56, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:ntj:journl:v:62:y:2009:i:1:p:25-56

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    Cited by:

    1. Linda Toolsema & Maarten Allers, 2014. "Welfare Financing: Grant Allocation and Efficiency," De Economist, Springer, vol. 162(2), pages 147-166, June.
    2. repec:dgr:rugsom:12004-eef is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Tom Downes & Keiran M. Killeen, 2014. "So Slow to Change: The Limited Growth of Non-Tax Revenues in Public Education Finance, 1991-2010," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0784, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
    4. Hawley, Zackary & Rork, Jonathan C., 2015. "Competition and property tax limit overrides: Revisiting Massachusetts' Proposition 2½," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 93-107.
    5. Toolsema-Veldman, Linda & Allers, M.A., 2012. "Welfare financing," Research Report 12004-EEF, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
    6. Bo Zhao, 2011. "Municipal aid evaluation and reform," New England Public Policy Center Working Paper 11-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    7. Bo Zhao with Marques Benton & Lynn E. Browne & Prabal Chakrabarti & DeAnna Green & Yolanda Kodrzycki & Ana Patricia Muñoz & Richard Walker, 2010. "Does Springfield receive its fair share of municipal aid? : implications for aid formula reform in Massachusetts," Public and Community Affairs Discussion Papers 2010-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    8. Wallin, Bruce & Zabel, Jeffrey, 2011. "Property tax limitations and local fiscal conditions: The impact of Proposition 2½ in Massachusetts," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 382-393, July.
    9. Zhao, Bo, 2015. "From urban core to wealthy towns: nonschool fiscal disparities across Connecticut municipalities," Working Papers 15-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    10. Audun Langørgen, 2015. "A structural approach for analyzing fiscal equalization," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(3), pages 376-400, June.
    11. Zhao, Bo & Weiner, Jennifer, 2015. "Measuring municipal fiscal disparities in Connecticut," New England Public Policy Center Research Report 15-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    12. Phuong Nguyen-Hoang & Yilin Hou, 2014. "Local Fiscal Responses to Procyclical Changes in State Aid," Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(4), pages 587-608.
    13. Tom Downes & Kieran M. Killeen, 2014. "So Slow to Change: The Limited Growth of Nontax Revenues in Public Education Finance, 1991–2010," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 9(4), pages 567-599, October.

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