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City Taxes and Property Tax Bases

  • Katharine L. Bradbury
  • Helen F. Ladd

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.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w2197.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2197.

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Date of creation: Mar 1987
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as NTJ, Vol. 41, no. 4 (1988): 503-524.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2197
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
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  1. 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.
  2. 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 957-71, Nov./Dec..
  3. Rosen, Harvey S & Fullerton, David J, 1977. "A Note on Local Tax Rates, Public Benefit Levels, and Property Values," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(2), pages 433-40, April.
  4. Bergstrom, Theodore C & Goodman, Robert P, 1973. "Private Demands for Public Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 280-96, June.
  5. Borcherding, Thomas E & Deacon, Robert T, 1972. "The Demand for the Services of Non-Federal Governments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 891-901, December.
  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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