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The tax-rate elasticity of local business profits

Author

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  • Fossen, Frank M.
  • Steiner, Viktor

Abstract

Local business profits respond to local business tax (LBT) rates that vary across municipalities. We estimate that a one percent increase in the LBT rate decreases the LBT base by 0.45 percent, based on the universe of German LBT return files, which include corporations and unincorporated businesses. However, the fiscal equalization scheme largely compensates municipalities for the loss in the LBT base when they increase the LBT rate. Our estimates suggest that using tax revenue data instead of tax return data, as commonly done in the literature, results in a significant bias of the elasticity away from zero.

Suggested Citation

  • Fossen, Frank M. & Steiner, Viktor, 2014. "The tax-rate elasticity of local business profits," Discussion Papers 2014/28, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:fubsbe:201428
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gruber, Jon & Saez, Emmanuel, 2002. "The elasticity of taxable income: evidence and implications," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 1-32, April.
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    12. Becker, Sascha O. & Egger, Peter H. & Merlo, Valeria, 2012. "How low business tax rates attract MNE activity: Municipality-level evidence from Germany," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 698-711.
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    Cited by:

    1. Blesse, Sebastian & Doerrenberg, Philipp & Rauch, Anna, 2019. "Higher taxes on less elastic goods? Evidence from German municipalities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 165-186.
    2. repec:eee:regeco:v:68:y:2018:i:c:p:84-97 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    local business tax; corporate tax; tax responsiveness; tax-rate elasticity;

    JEL classification:

    • 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

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