IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

The Property Tax—in Theory and Practice

Listed author(s):
  • Enid Slack

    (Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance, University of Toronto)

Registered author(s):

    The property tax is considered to be a good tax for local governments, mainly because of the connection between the types of services funded at the local level and the benefit to property values. Yet, property tax revenues rarely account for more than 3 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in any country. This paper explains why the property tax is under-used by highlighting some of the problems with the tax, such as its unpopularity, its inelasticity, erosion of tax base, and poor administration. Reforming the property tax is difficult, however, because no matter how economically desirable the long-run outcome of reform may be, its transitional effects may be highly undesirable in political terms—there will inevitably be winners and losers. Even if the property tax is used more heavily, it will never be able to do the whole job, especially for local governments that are delivering more than property-related services.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    File Function: First version, 2011
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by University of Toronto, Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance in its series IMFG Papers with number 02.

    in new window

    Length: 24 pages
    Date of creation: Dec 2011
    Publication status: Published in hard copy and online
    Handle: RePEc:mfg:wpaper:02
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mfg:wpaper:02. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Enid Slack)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.