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Tax interaction dynamics among Belgian municipalities, 1984-1997

  • Jean-François, RICHARD
  • Henry, TULKENS
  • Magali, Verdonck

The purpose of this paper is to test econometrically the existence of fiscal interactions between Belgian municipalities. At the time of writing, the motivation was to provide scientific support to the lively debate on fiscal competition that took place among Belgian politicians in the late nineties. Two types of taxes are considered, for which Belgian municipalities have the decision power as to rates : the “centimes additionnels†on the personal income tax and the “précompte immobilier†which is a property tax. A dynamic adjustment model is specified and estimated using panel data for 598 municipalities over 15 years. The empirical results obtained bear upon two main points : (i) Some interaction definitely has prevailed between the municipalities’ fiscal choices made during the observation period, for both taxes; (ii) However, the adjustment reactions to the other municipalities’ fiscal choices have occured over time at the very low yearly pace of 6% and 10% respectively, of the discrepancy between the actual rates and the preferred rates.

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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques in its series Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) with number 2005039.

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Length: 22
Date of creation: 01 Jun 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvec:2005039
Contact details of provider: Postal: Place Montesquieu 3, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium)
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  8. Heyndels, Bruno & Vuchelen, Jef, 1998. "Tax Mimicking Among Belgian Municipalities," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(n. 1), pages 89-101, March.
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  14. Heyndels, Bruno & Smolders, Carine, 1994. " Fiscal Illusion at the Local Level: Empirical Evidence for the Flemish Municipalities," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 80(3-4), pages 325-38, September.
  15. Hines, James R. Jr., 1999. "Lessons from Behavioral Responses to International Taxation," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 305-22, June.
  16. Case, Anne C. & Rosen, Harvey S. & Hines, James Jr., 1993. "Budget spillovers and fiscal policy interdependence : Evidence from the states," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 285-307, October.
  17. Davidson, James E H, et al, 1978. "Econometric Modelling of the Aggregate Time-Series Relationship between Consumers' Expenditure and Income in the United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 88(352), pages 661-92, December.
  18. Masayoshi Hayashi & Robin Boadway, 2001. "An empirical analysis of intergovernmental tax interaction: the case of business income taxes in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(2), pages 481-503, May.
  19. Ashworth, John & Heyndels, Bruno, 1997. "Politicians' preferences on local tax rates: An empirical analysis," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 479-502, September.
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