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Land taxes in a Latin American context

  • Assunção, Juliano Junqueira
  • Moreira, Humberto Ataíde

Since Henry George (1839-1897) economists have been arguing that a tax on unimproved land is an ideal tax on efficiency grounds. Output taxes, on the other hand, have distortionary effects on the economy. This paper shows that under asymmetric information output taxes might be used along with land tax in order to implement an optimal taxation scheme in a Latin American context, i.e., where land rental markets are relatively thin, land property provides non-agricultural payoffs and there is nonrevenue objectives of land taxation. Also, the model has two implications that can be tested empirically: (i) there is evasion when schemes based only on land taxes are implemented; (ii) this evasion is more severe for large landholders.

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Paper provided by FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil) in its series Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) with number 526.

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Date of creation: 01 Feb 2004
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Handle: RePEc:fgv:epgewp:526
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