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Fiscal Zoning, Sales Taxes, and Employment: Do Higher Sales Taxes Lead to More Jobs in Retailing and Fewer Jobs in Manufacturing?

  • Burnes, Daria

    ()

    (University of California, Irvine)

  • Neumark, David

    ()

    (University of California, Irvine)

  • White, Michelle J.

    ()

    (University of California, San Diego)

We test the hypothesis that local government officials in jurisdictions that have higher local sales taxes are more likely to use fiscal zoning to attract retailing. We find that total retail employment is not significantly affected by local sales tax rates, but employment in big box and anchor stores is higher significantly in jurisdictions with higher sales tax rates. This suggests that local officials in jurisdictions with higher sales tax rates concentrate on attracting large stores and shopping centers. We also find that the effect of local sales taxes on big box and anchor store retail employment is larger in county interiors, where residents tend to be captive to local retailers. Finally, fiscal zoning has the opposite effect on manufacturing employment, suggesting that local officials' efforts to attract shopping centers and large stores crowd out manufacturing.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6383.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6383
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  1. Mark, Stephen T. & McGuire, Therese J. & Papke, Leslie E., 2000. "The Influence of Taxes on Employment and Population Growth: Evidence from the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 53(n. 1), pages 105-24, March.
  2. Paul G. Lewis, 2001. "Retail Politics: Local Sales Taxes and the Fiscalization of Land Use," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 15(1), pages 21-35, February.
  3. Fischel, William A, 1992. "Property Taxation and the Tiebout Model: Evidence for the Benefit View from Zoning and Voting," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(1), pages 171-77, March.
  4. Neumark, David & Zhang, Junfu & Wall, Brandon, 2005. "Employment Dynamics and Business Relocation: New Evidence from the National Establishment Time Series," IZA Discussion Papers 1774, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
  6. Sonstelie, Jon C. & Portney, Paul R., 1978. "Profit maximizing communities and the theory of local public expenditure," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 263-277, April.
  7. Richard Hawkins & Matthew N. Murray, 2004. "Explaining Interjurisdictional Variations in Local Sales Tax Yield," Public Finance Review, , vol. 32(1), pages 82-104, January.
  8. Goolsbee, Austan & Zittrain, Jonathan, 1999. "Evaluating the Costs and Benefits of Taxing Internet Commerce," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 3), pages 413-28, September.
  9. Ohls, James C. & Weisberg, Richard Chadbourn & White, Michelle J., 1974. "The effect of zoning on land value," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(4), pages 428-444, October.
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