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Tax Limits, Houses, and Schools: Seemingly Unrelated and Offsetting Effects

Author

Listed:
  • William Hoyt

    (Martin School of Public Policy and Administration and Department of Economics, University of Kentucky)

  • Paul A. Coomes

    () (Department of Economics and College of Business, University of Louisville)

  • Amelia M. Biehl

    (Department of Economics, University of Southern Indiana)

Abstract

Property tax limitations, as well as other tax and expenditure restrictions on state and local governments in the United States, date back to the late nineteenth century. A surge in property tax limitation legislation occurred in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and its effects on government revenue, school financing, and educational quality have been studied extensively. However, there is surprisingly little literature on how property tax limits affect housing markets. For the first time, we examine the impacts of property tax limitations on housing growth, in addition to their impacts on housing prices. Using state-level data over twenty-three years, we find that property tax limits increase housing prices (indexes) by approximately 1.6%. These limits appear to have little impact on the growth in the housing stock, as measured by the number of permits. Our evidence suggests that this is because while property tax limits reduce property taxes they also increase the price of housing. These two counteracting effects lead to ambiguous impacts on the gross price of housing.

Suggested Citation

  • William Hoyt & Paul A. Coomes & Amelia M. Biehl, 2009. "Tax Limits, Houses, and Schools: Seemingly Unrelated and Offsetting Effects," Working Papers 2009-03, University of Kentucky, Institute for Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifr:wpaper:2009-03
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    File URL: http://www.ifigr.org/publication/ifir_working_papers/IFIR-WP-2009-03.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Brueckner, Jan K., 1979. "Property values, local public expenditure and economic efficiency," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 223-245, March.
    2. Case, Karl E & Shiller, Robert J, 1989. "The Efficiency of the Market for Single-Family Homes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 125-137, March.
    3. Bates, Laurie J. & Santerre, Rexford E., 2003. "The impact of a state mandated expenditure floor on aggregate property values," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 531-540, May.
    4. Downes, Thomas A., 1992. "Evaluating the Impact of School Finance Reform on the Provision of Public Education: The California Case," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 45(4), pages 405-419, December.
    5. Bradbury, Katharine L. & Mayer, Christopher J. & Case, Karl E., 2001. "Property tax limits, local fiscal behavior, and property values: evidence from Massachusetts under Proposition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 287-311, May.
    6. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
    7. Carroll, Robert & Wasylenko, Michael J., 1994. "Do State Business Climates Still Matter? -- Evidence of a Structural Change," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 47(1), pages 19-37, March.
    8. Downes, Thomas A., 1992. "Evaluating the Impact of School Finance Reform on the Provision of Public Education: The California Case," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 45(4), pages 405-19, December.
    9. Anderson, Nathan B., 2006. "Property Tax Limitations: An Interpretative Review," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 59(3), pages 685-694, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cheung, Ron & Cunningham, Chris, 2011. "Who supports portable assessment caps: The role of lock-in, mobility and tax share," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 173-186, May.
    2. Alm, James & Buschman, Robert D. & Sjoquist, David L., 2011. "Rethinking local government reliance on the property tax," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 320-331, July.
    3. Byron F. Lutz, 2009. "Fiscal amenities, school finance reform and the supply side of the Tiebout market," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2009-18, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets

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