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The Structure of State Corporate Taxation and its Impact on State Tax Revenues and Economic Activity

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  • Juan Carlos Suárez Serrato
  • Owen M. Zidar

Abstract

This paper documents facts about the state corporate tax structure | tax rates, base rules, and credits | and investigates its consequences for state tax revenue and economic activity. We present three main findings. First, tax base rules and credits explain more of the variation in state corporate tax revenues than tax rates do. Second, although states typically do not offset tax rate changes with base and credit changes, the effects of tax rate changes on tax revenue and economic activity depend on the breadth of the base. Third, as states have narrowed their tax bases, the relationship between tax rates and tax revenues has diminished. Overall, changes in state tax bases have made the state corporate tax system more favorable for corporations and are reducing the extent to which tax rate increases raise corporate tax revenue.

Suggested Citation

  • Juan Carlos Suárez Serrato & Owen M. Zidar, 2017. "The Structure of State Corporate Taxation and its Impact on State Tax Revenues and Economic Activity," NBER Working Papers 23653, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23653
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Juan Carlos Suárez Serrato & Owen Zidar, 2016. "Who Benefits from State Corporate Tax Cuts? A Local Labor Markets Approach with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(9), pages 2582-2624, September.
    2. Clemens Fuest & Andreas Peichl & Sebastian Siegloch, 2018. "Do Higher Corporate Taxes Reduce Wages? Micro Evidence from Germany," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(2), pages 393-418, February.
    3. Heider, Florian & Ljungqvist, Alexander, 2015. "As certain as debt and taxes: Estimating the tax sensitivity of leverage from state tax changes," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(3), pages 684-712.
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    5. Daniel J. Wilson, 2009. "Beggar Thy Neighbor? The In-State, Out-of-State, and Aggregate Effects of R&D Tax Credits," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(2), pages 431-436, May.
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    17. Bev Dahlby & Ergete Ferede, 2012. "The effects of tax rate changes on tax bases and the marginal cost of public funds for Canadian provincial governments," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 19(6), pages 844-883, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Zhenyu Gao & Michael Sockin & Wei Xiong, 2019. "Economic Consequences of Housing Speculation," NBER Working Papers 26457, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Clemens Fuest & Andreas Peichl & Sebastian Siegloch, 2018. "Do Higher Corporate Taxes Reduce Wages? Micro Evidence from Germany," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(2), pages 393-418, February.
    3. Clemens Fuest & Andreas Peichl & Sebastian Siegloch, 2013. "Do Higher Corporate Taxes Reduce Wages? Micro Evidence from Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 4247, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Rema Hanna & Benjamin A. Olken, 2019. "Tax Administration vs. Tax Rates: Evidence from Corporate Taxation in Indonesia," CID Working Papers 361, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    5. Sabrina T. Howell & Filippo Mezzanotti, 2019. "Financing Entrepreneurship through the Tax Code: Angel Investor Tax Credits," NBER Working Papers 26486, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. E. Mark Curtis & Ryan Decker, 2018. "Entrepreneurship and State Taxation," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2018-003, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    7. Cailin R. Slattery & Owen M. Zidar, 2020. "Evaluating State and Local Business Tax Incentives," NBER Working Papers 26603, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • R5 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis

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