Working Papers
PDF | Free | 30 pages
Download PDF

Property Tax Responses to State Aid Cuts in the Recent Fiscal Crisis

Richard F. Dye and Andrew Reschovsky

January 2008, English

Many states experienced fiscal crises at the beginning of this decade. Some responded by cutting state aid to local governments. This paper explores the extent to which local governments responded to these aid cuts by raising property taxes. The authors hypothesize that changes in aid help explain the observed differences in per capita property tax revenue changes across states. They find that on average school districts increased property taxes by 23 cents for each dollar cut in state aid. These results highlight the important role that the property tax plays in maintaining the stability of the state and local sector.