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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. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2007. "Shocks and Frictions in US Business Cycles : a Bayesian DSGE Approach," Working Paper Research 109, National Bank of Belgium.
  2. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2005. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 1-45, February.
  3. 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.
  4. James M. Poterba, 1992. "Taxation and Housing: Old Questions, New Answers," NBER Working Papers 3963, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2004. "Taxes, Regulations, and the Value of U.S. and U.K. Corporations," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000715, UCLA Department of Economics.
  6. Gervais, Martin, 2002. "Housing taxation and capital accumulation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(7), pages 1461-1489, October.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Sami Alpanda, 2012. "Taxation, collateral use of land, and Japanese asset prices," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 819-850, October.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Eva Ortega & Margarita Rubio & Carlos Thomas, 2011. "House purchase versus rental in Spain," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 1108, Banco de Espa�a.
  13. Morris A. Davis & Jonathan Heathcote, 2005. "Housing And The Business Cycle," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 46(3), pages 751-784, 08.
  14. Martin Gervais & Manish Pandey, 2005. "Who Cares about Mortgage Interest Deductibility?," University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute Working Papers 20059, University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute.
  15. Justiniano, Alejandro & Primiceri, Giorgio E & Tambalotti, Andrea, 2013. "Household Leveraging and Deleveraging," CEPR Discussion Papers 9671, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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