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Housing and Tax Policy

  • Sami Alpanda
  • Sarah Zubairy

In this paper, we investigate the effects of housing-related tax policy measures on macroeconomic aggregates using a dynamic general-equilibrium model. The model features borrowing and lending across heterogeneous households, financial frictions in the form of collateral constraints tied to house prices, and a rental housing market alongside owner-occupied housing. Using our model, we analyze the effects of changes in housing-related tax policy measures on the level of output, tax revenue and household debt, along with other macroeconomic aggregates. The tax policies we consider are (i) increasing property tax rates, (ii) eliminating the mortgage interest deduction, (iii) eliminating the depreciation allowance for rental income, (iv) instituting taxation of imputed rental income from owner-occupied housing and (v) eliminating the property tax deduction. We find that among these fiscal tools, eliminating the mortgage interest deduction would be the most effective in raising tax revenue, and in reducing household debt, per unit of output lost. On the other hand, eliminating the depreciation allowance for rental income would be the least effective. Our experiments also highlight the differential welfare impact of each tax policy on savers, borrowers and renters.

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Paper provided by Bank of Canada in its series Staff Working Papers with number 13-33.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:13-33
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  1. Jonathan Heathcote, 2003. "Housing and the Business Cycle," Working Papers gueconwpa~03-03-21, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  2. Leeper, Eric M. & Plante, Michael & Traum, Nora, 2010. "Dynamics of fiscal financing in the United States," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 156(2), pages 304-321, June.
  3. Martin Gervais & Manish Pandey, 2008. "Who Cares About Mortgage Interest Deductibility?," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 34(1), pages 1-24, March.
  4. Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2005. "Taxes, regulations, and the value of U.S. and U.K. corporations," Staff Report 309, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. Alejandro Justiniano & Giorgio E. Primiceri & Andrea Tambalotti, 2013. "Household leveraging and deleveraging," Staff Reports 602, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  6. Poterba, James M, 1992. "Taxation and Housing: Old Questions, New Answers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 237-42, May.
  7. Meenakshi Basant Roi & Rhys R. Mendes, 2007. "Should Central Banks Adjust Their Target Horizons in Response to House-Price Bubbles?," Discussion Papers 07-4, Bank of Canada.
  8. Morris A. Davis, 2010. "housing and the business cycle," The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Palgrave Macmillan.
  9. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles Evans, 2001. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 8403, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Smets, Frank & Wouters, Rafael, 2007. "Shocks and Frictions in US Business Cycles: A Bayesian DSGE Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 6112, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Chambers, Matthew & Garriga, Carlos & Schlagenhauf, Don E., 2009. "Housing policy and the progressivity of income taxation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1116-1134, November.
  12. Matteo Iacoviello & Stefano Neri, 2007. "Housing Market Spillovers: Evidence from an Estimated DSGE Model," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 659, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 23 Oct 2009.
  13. Gervais, Martin, 2002. "Housing taxation and capital accumulation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(7), pages 1461-1489, October.
  14. Sami Alpanda, 2012. "Taxation, collateral use of land, and Japanese asset prices," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 819-850, October.
  15. Eva Ortega & Margarita Rubio & Carlos Thomas, 2011. "House purchase versus rental in Spain," Working Papers 1108, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
  16. Rosen, Harvey S., 1979. "Housing decisions and the U.S. income tax : An econometric analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 1-23, February.
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