The Property Tax and Local Autonomy
Some of the nation’s leading scholars of government and public finance provide their views on the consequences of a declining property tax base. They show local government officials and others how property tax revenue—or the lack of such revenue—affects local autonomy, decision making, and the ability of communities to fund public schools and other services.
About the Editors
Michael E. Bell is a research professor at the George Washington Institute of Public Policy at The George Washington University.
David Brunori is a research professor at the George Washington Institute of Public Policy at The George Washington University.
Joan Youngman is senior fellow and chair of the Department of Valuation and Taxation at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.
“The Property Tax and Local Autonomy is an excellent contribution to the literature on taxation. The eight chapters in this volume represent a valuable synthesis of our understanding of the role of the property tax in local government. This book will be an important resource for policy makers and researchers for many years.”
— Robert M. Schwab, Professor, Department of Economics, University of Maryland
“In the United States, the property tax is a dedicated source of local government revenue and is therefore inextricably linked to local autonomy. While citizens have historically placed a high value on autonomy, the link between autonomy and the unpopular property tax is, perhaps, not clearly understood. This valuable collection of essays provides an excellent overview of the past, present, and potential future of the property tax and its role in local governance. It is essential reading for students, researchers, policy makers, and practitioners of state and local government finance, and serves as a basis for developing important new lines of inquiry.”
— Mark Skidmore, Professor and Morris Chair in State and Local Government Finance and Policy, Michigan State University
“This book shines a light on the often overlooked local public sector. It shows how local governments can provide high-quality services in an efficient and accountable manner, which depends on the availability of locally controlled revenues. The book should be required reading for anyone interested in how local governments are faring in an area of constraints—tax revolts, demographic pressures, and cost increases—and how they can make the most of their opportunities.”
— Tracy Gordon, Assistant Professor, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland