Local Property and State Income Taxes: The Role of Interjurisdictional Competition and Collusion
This paper attempts to address two long standing questions in Public Finance: (i) why is the property tax, despite popular complaints about its fairness, the almost exclusive tax instrument used by local governments, and (ii) why do we consistently observe higher levels of governments undermine local property tax systems through income tax funded grants and state imposed caps on local property tax rates. A new intuitive argument to explain (i) is presented and tested in general equilibrium simulations which utilize a compu- table general equilibrium model of local public finance with parameters set to be consistent with micro-tax data. Different types of agents are endowed with income and houses and are able to move to their most preferred house in their most preferred jurisdiction. Also, agents vote myopically on local property tax rates while non-myopic community planners set a local income tax. Six possible objective functions for community planners are postulated, and all 6 lead to the same equilibrium outcome: community planners will always set local tax rates at or close to zero. When faced with popular sentiment against the property tax, community planners can collude and introduce local income taxes simultaneously to prevent adverse general equilibrium migration and price changes. Since zero income tax rates are dominant strategies however, such an agreement is only enforceable if an outsider like the state government steps in. State grants funded through a state income tax can play such an enforcement role.
|Date of creation:||Jan 1996|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Journal of Political Economy, 105(2), 351-385, 1997.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Wildasin, David E., 1991. "Some rudimetary 'duopolity' theory," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 393-421, November.
- Coates, Dennis, 1993. "Property tax competition in a repeated game," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 111-119, March.
- Pogodzinski, J. M. & Sjoquist, David L., 1993. "Alternative tax regimes in a local public good economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 115-141, January.
- WILDASIN, David E., .
"Interjurisdictional capital mobility: Fiscal externality and a corrective subsidy,"
CORE Discussion Papers RP
831, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
- Wildasin, David E., 1989. "Interjurisdictional capital mobility: Fiscal externality and a corrective subsidy," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 193-212, March.
- Bucovetsky, S., 1991. "Asymmetric tax competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 167-181, September.
- Ioannides, Yannis M., 1987. "Residential mobility and housing tenure choice," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 265-287.
- Gordon, Roger H, 1986. "Taxation of Investment and Savings in a World Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1086-1102, December.
- Westhoff, Frank, 1977. "Existence of equilibria in economies with a local public good," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 84-112, February.
- Eric A. Hanushek & John M. Quigley, 1978. "An Explicit Model of Intra-Metropolitan Mobility," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 54(4), pages 411-429.
- Thomas J. Nechyba, 1996.
"Existence of Equilibrium and Stratification in Local and Hierarchical Tiebout Economies with Property Taxes and Voting,"
NBER Technical Working Papers
0190, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Thomas. J. Nechyba, 1997. "Existence of equilibrium and stratification in local and hierarchical Tiebout economies with property taxes and voting," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 10(2), pages 277-304.
- Wildasin, David, 1993. "Fiscal competition and interindustry trade," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 369-399, July.
- Bucovetsky, Sam & Wilson, John Douglas, 1991. "Tax competition with two tax instruments," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 333-350, November.
- Zodrow, George R. & Mieszkowski, Peter, 1986. "Pigou, Tiebout, property taxation, and the underprovision of local public goods," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 356-370, May.
- David E. Wildasin, 2005. "Fiscal Competition," Working Papers 2005-05, University of Kentucky, Institute for Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations.
- Wilson, John D., 1986. "A theory of interregional tax competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 296-315, May.
- Krelove, R., 1993. "The persistence and inefficiency of property tax finance of local public expenditures," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 415-435, July.
- Epple, Dennis & Filimon, Radu & Romer, Thomas, 1993. "Existence of voting and housing equilibrium in a system of communities with property taxes," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 585-610, November.
- Wilson, John Douglas, 1987. "Trade, Capital Mobility, and Tax Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(4), pages 835-56, August.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5419. 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: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.