Serrano and Proposition 13: Comment on Isaac Martin, 'Does School Finance Litigation Cause Taxpayer Revolt'

25 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2009  

William A. Fischel

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics

Date Written: February 9, 2009

Abstract

The California Supreme Court's 1976 Serrano decision, which required equalization of school spending and property-tax bases, was followed in 1978 by Proposition 13, which severely limited property taxes. This comment explains that evidence supporting a causal connection between the two events is not flawed by the problem of ecological inference. The Serrano decision applied to school districts, not individuals, and so the behavior of voters grouped by school districts is appropriate for testing the connection. Additional evidence presented here emphasizes the need to contrast a rejected property-tax limitation in 1972 with the overwhelming support for Proposition 13 six years later.

Keywords: proposition 13, serrano, tax revolts, school finance

JEL Classification: H73, I22

Suggested Citation

Fischel, William A., Serrano and Proposition 13: Comment on Isaac Martin, 'Does School Finance Litigation Cause Taxpayer Revolt' (February 9, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1339925 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1339925

William A. Fischel (Contact Author)

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics ( email )

Hanover, NH 03755
United States
603-646-2940 (Phone)
603-646-2122 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~wfischel/

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