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The Hated Property Tax: Salience, Tax Rates, and Tax Revolts

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  • Marika Cabral
  • Caroline Hoxby

Abstract

Because of the obtrusive manner in which they are normally paid, property taxes are likely the most salient taxes in the U.S. However, they are much less salient to homeowners with tax escrow. Exploiting geographical variation in tax escrow, we test how salience affects property tax rates and limits. We instrument for tax escrow using bank holding companies' national mortgage servicing assets, focusing on companies that have local branches but do most of their business outside the area. We find that a one standard deviation increase in tax escrow produces about a one standard deviation decrease in property tax rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Marika Cabral & Caroline Hoxby, 2012. "The Hated Property Tax: Salience, Tax Rates, and Tax Revolts," NBER Working Papers 18514, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18514
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • B12 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Classical (includes Adam Smith)
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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