Are Community-Nuisance Fiscal Zoning Arrangements Undermined by State Property Tax Reforms? Evidence from Nuclear Power Plants and School Finance Equalization
The conventional view of fiscal zoning is that communities make land use accommodations only for nuisance entities that generate sufficient net fiscal benefits. State reforms that redistribute property tax revenues have been accused of undermining these decisions ex-post. This paper tests this critique by examining communities with nuclear power plants sited before the school finance equalization reforms of the 1970s and 1980s. Hedonic regressions reveal these reforms to disproportionately reduce housing prices in nuclear plant communities but increase them among neighboring areas. This pattern of interjurisdictional capitalization is consistent with the concerns raised by critics of these reforms.
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