NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

City Taxes and Property Tax Bases

Katharine L. Bradbury, Helen F. Ladd

NBER Working Paper No. 2197
Issued in March 1987

This paper investigates the simultaneous relationship between tax rates and city property tax bases using data for 86 large U.S. cities in 1967, 1972, 1977, and 1982. We find that a 10 percent increase in the city's property tax rate decreases the city's tax base by about 1.5 percent. In addition, local income taxes and taxes levied by overlying jurisdictions (such as county and state governments) also have negative impacts on the city's property tax base. Local sales taxes, in contrast, appear to have little impact. We conclude that taxes affect local property values more than is typically implied by previous studies that have investigated the impacts of state and local taxes on firms' location decisions.

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Published: NTJ, Vol. 41, no. 4 (1988): 503-524.

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