City Taxes, City Spending: Essays in Honor of Dick Netzer by Amy Ellen Schwartz

By Amy Ellen Schwartz

An illustrious crew of economists give a contribution to this quantity honoring Dick Netzer, the general public finance economist famous for his study on nation and native taxation, the supply of city public companies, and non-profit organisations. Following in his culture, the individuals practice microeconomics to actual international difficulties dealing with city parts and use statistical research to realize perception into sensible suggestions. the 1st 4 chapters of the booklet supply in-depth explorations of different equipment of financing city govt similar to: the relative benefits of source of revenue and estate taxation on the neighborhood point, the influence of revenues and source of revenue taxation on estate taxation, and the feasibility of adopting a land price tax. the subsequent chapters specialize in govt charges: the influence of sponsored housing funding on estate values, and the theoretical and old reasons for public possession and direct provision of public providers. the ultimate chapters of the publication flip their consciousness to the non-profit area, exploring subsidies to non-profit arts enterprises and the function of the non-profit quarter in offering K-12 schooling, in particular addressing the consequences for segregation and fairness. finished and interesting, execs and students within the fields of public finance, city economics and public management will locate this choice of nice curiosity.

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There is a visibility issue here. With What should local governments tax: income or property? 25 local income taxation, one’s tax payment is typically lumped together with taxes paid to other levels of government in a way that serves to obscure the distinctly local component of the tax bill. And this may well weaken the link between local spending and taxes. Under local property taxation, we have a real separation of sources. Local government has its own tax base, distinct from state and federal levels, and households and local businesses know that their local tax bills are going to finance local services.

Suppose school districts switched from a property tax to a local income tax. Would differences in tax bases across school districts rise, fall or remain roughly constant as a result? The ideal data set for this analysis would include detailed information on the property tax base and income for each of the 15000 school districts in the USA. The 1990 Census School District Special Tabulation, School District Data Book provides socioeconomic data for nearly all school dis- What should local governments tax: income or property?

2001), ‘Reflections on the New View and the Benefit View of the Property Tax’, in Wallace E. 79–111. —— and Peter Mieszkowski (1986), ‘Pigou, Tiebout, Property Taxation, and the Under-Provision of Local Public Goods’, Journal of Urban Economics, 19, 356–70. 28 City taxes, city spending APPENDIX This appendix includes a brief summary of our school district data for Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Texas. Sample We developed a few simple rules to help us choose districts for our sample. First, we included only unified districts in the sample; second, we deleted districts with missing property, income or enrollment estimates; third, we tried to reduce reporting errors in the data by (a) deleting districts where property value per pupil or income per pupil was greater than 150 per cent of the 99th percentile or less than 50 per cent of the first percentile in the state, and (b) dropping districts with fewer than 50 students.

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