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On the Incentive Effects of Municipal Tax Credits


  • Cyrenne, Philippe


Abstract. This paper analyzes a specific municipal tax credit program that has been passed by the City of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The program allows 50% of the net private investment in eligible conservation work on a historic building to be designated as a credit against future municipal tax liabilities (property, business and amusement) on the structure and land on which it is situated. The credit is non-refundable and expires after 10 years. This article reviews the economic logic underlying the program from the point of view of an investor. Two approaches are considered, one where the increased expenditure increases the quantity of service flow, the other where it results in an increase in the quality of service flow. It is shown how the investor’s expected tax liability effects the amount of expenditure undertaken. Specifically, the proposal introduces a nonlinear subsidy schedule which limits the total amount of the investor’s tax liability that can be subsidized over the 10 year period. It is demonstrated that the program is quite general and could be used by local governments to encourage spending in other areas, for example, energy conservation or general housing renewal.

Suggested Citation

  • Cyrenne, Philippe, 1999. "On the Incentive Effects of Municipal Tax Credits," MPRA Paper 28949, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:28949

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Anderson, John E., 1993. "State tax credits and land use: Policy analysis of circuit-breaker effects," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 295-312, September.
    2. Ronald C. Fisher & Robert H. Rasche, 1984. "The Incidence and Incentive Effects of Property Tax Credits: Evidence From Michigan," Public Finance Review, , vol. 12(3), pages 291-319, July.
    3. Oded Palmon & Baron A. Smith, 1998. "New Evidence on Property Tax Capitalization," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 1099-1128, October.
    4. Man, Joyce Y., 1995. "The Incidence of Differential Commercial Property Taxes: Empirical Evidence," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 48(4), pages 479-96, December.
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    More about this item


    Municipal Tax Credits;

    JEL classification:

    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General
    • H0 - Public Economics - - General
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue


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