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Inefficient at Any Level: A Comparative Efficiency Argument for Complete Elimination of Property Transfer Duties and Insurance Taxes

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  • Jason Nassios
  • James Giesecke

Abstract

Harberger (1962) coined the term excess burden to emphasise that taxes impose costs in addition to the revenue they collect. Reviews of Australia's tax system have used point estimates of the excess burden for a series of Australian taxes, among other measures, to motivate and prioritise the nation's reform agenda. In this paper we commence the work needed to elucidate what the optimal tax mix in Australia might look like under alternative revenue raising efforts, by studying how the excess burden of four Australian taxes change as we alter their tax-specific revenue-to-GDP ratios. This is achieved via simulation with a large-scale CGE model with high levels of tax-specific detail. We show that property transfer duties and insurance taxes are highly inefficient even at low levels, strengthening the case for their complete replacement with more efficient taxes.

Suggested Citation

  • Jason Nassios & James Giesecke, 2022. "Inefficient at Any Level: A Comparative Efficiency Argument for Complete Elimination of Property Transfer Duties and Insurance Taxes," Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre Working Papers g-337, Victoria University, Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre.
  • Handle: RePEc:cop:wpaper:g-337
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Congressional Budget Office, 2017. "International Comparisons of Corporate Income Tax Rates," Reports 52419, Congressional Budget Office.
    2. Arnold C. Harberger, 1962. "The Incidence of the Corporation Income Tax," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 215-215.
    3. James A. Giesecke & Christopher King & Jason Nassios & Nhi Hoang Tran, 2021. "The impact of GST reform on Australia’s state and territory economies," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(51), pages 5929-5947, November.
    4. James A. Giesecke & Nhi H. Tran, 2018. "The National and Regional Consequences of Australia's Goods and Services Tax," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 94(306), pages 255-275, September.
    5. Hao, MingJie & Macdonald, Angus S. & Tapadar, Pradip & Thomas, R. Guy, 2018. "Insurance loss coverage and demand elasticities," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 15-25.
    6. repec:cbo:report:524190 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    CGE modelling; Immovable property tax; Recurrent property tax; Insurance tax; Value added tax; Personal income tax; Excess burden;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C68 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computable General Equilibrium Models
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • R38 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Government Policy

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