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City Taxes and Property Tax Bases

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  • Katharine L. Bradbury
  • Helen F. Ladd

Abstract

This paper investigates the simultaneous relationship between tax rates and city property tax bases using data for 86 large U.S. cities in 1967, 1972, 1977, and 1982. We find that a 10 percent increase in the city's property tax rate decreases the city's tax base by about 1.5 percent. In addition, local income taxes and taxes levied by overlying jurisdictions (such as county and state governments) also have negative impacts on the city's property tax base. Local sales taxes, in contrast, appear to have little impact. We conclude that taxes affect local property values more than is typically implied by previous studies that have investigated the impacts of state and local taxes on firms' location decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Katharine L. Bradbury & Helen F. Ladd, 1987. "City Taxes and Property Tax Bases," NBER Working Papers 2197, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2197
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bergstrom, Theodore C & Goodman, Robert P, 1973. "Private Demands for Public Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 280-296, June.
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    3. Michelle J. White, 1986. "Property Taxes and Firm Location: Evidence from Proposition 13," NBER Chapters,in: Studies in State and Local Public Finance, pages 83-112 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Oates, Wallace E, 1969. "The Effects of Property Taxes and Local Public Spending on Property Values: An Empirical Study of Tax Capitalization and the Tiebout Hypothesis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(6), pages 957-971, Nov./Dec..
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    6. Bloom, Howard S. & Ladd, Helen F., 1982. "Property tax revaluation and tax levy growth," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 73-84, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Donald, Vandegrift & Michael, Lahr, 2007. "Open Space Purchases, House Prices, and the Tax Base," MPRA Paper 6118, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Jonathan Skinner, 2007. "Are You Sure You're Saving Enough for Retirement?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 59-80, Summer.
    3. Julie Berry Cullen & Steven D. Levitt, 1999. "Crime, Urban Flight, And The Consequences For Cities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 159-169, May.
    4. Donald Vandegrift & Amanda Lockshiss & Michael Lahr, 2012. "Town versus Gown: The Effect of a College on Housing Prices and the Tax Base," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 304-334, June.
    5. Paul Hettler, 2004. "Regional impact of commuter wage taxes," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 32(3), pages 191-200, September.
    6. Abhay Pethe & Ajit Karnik, 2004. "Infrastructure Finance In The Time Of Revenue Crunch: Exploring New Avenues For Urban Local Bodies," Department of Economics, University of Mumbai, Mumbai Working Papers 10, Department of Economics, University of Mumbai, Mumbai.
    7. Allers, Maarten & de Haan, Jakob & Sterks, Cees, 2001. "Partisan Influence on the Local Tax Burden in the Netherlands," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 106(3-4), pages 351-363, March.
    8. Nuria Boch Roca & Marta Espasa & Daniel Montolio, 2014. "Should Large Spanish Municipalities Be Financially Compensated? Costs and Benefits of Being a Capital/Central Municipality," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 211(4), pages 67-91, December.
    9. Buettner, Thiess, 2003. "Tax base effects and fiscal externalities of local capital taxation: evidence from a panel of German jurisdictions," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 110-128, July.
    10. Lang, Kevin & Jian, Tianlun, 2004. "Property taxes and property values: evidence from Proposition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 439-457, May.
    11. Hamid Beladi & Nicholas S. P. Tay & Reza Oladi, 2011. "On Competition for Listings," Working Papers 0003, College of Business, University of Texas at San Antonio.
    12. John Deskins & William Fox, 2008. "Measuring Behavioral Responses to the Property Tax," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0816, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    13. Donald Vandegrift & John Loyer, 2015. "The Effect Of Walmart And Target On The Tax Base: Evidence From New Jersey," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(2), pages 159-187, March.
    14. Burge, Gregory & Rogers, Cynthia, 2011. "Local option sales taxes and consumer spending patterns: Fiscal interdependence under multi-tiered local taxation," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 46-58, January.
    15. Donald Vandegrift & Michael Lahr, 2011. "Open space, house prices, and the tax base," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 46(1), pages 83-100, February.
    16. Maarten Allers & J. Elhorst, 2005. "Tax Mimicking and Yardstick Competition Among Local Governments in the Netherlands," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 12(4), pages 493-513, August.
    17. Robert Novy-Marx & Joshua D. Rauh, 2009. "The Liabilities and Risks of State-Sponsored Pension Plans," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(4), pages 191-210, Fall.
    18. 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.).

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