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Split-Rate Taxation

Impacts on Tax Base

Zhou Yang and Zackary Hawley

Enero 2021, inglés

Municipalities debating land value taxation or split-rate taxation need empirical evidence to understand how the transition of property tax regimes will affect their tax base. Using a valuable data set on split-rate taxation from municipalities in Pennsylvania, this paper empirically estimates the impact of split-rate taxation on real property market values and land values. The estimated impact of switching from conventional property taxation to split-rate taxation on aggregate market values is significantly positive, but the average impact from changing split-rate tax parameters during the sample period is smaller depending on the empirical specifications and sample used. In addition, the impacts vary across property types. Commercial properties appear to benefit more from split-rate taxation compared to residential and industrial uses. The Pennsylvania experience also suggests that split-rate taxes have a negative impact on land values during the sample period, but it does not appear that land values would drastically fall.