Inter-Federation Competition: Sales Taxation with Multiple Federations

52 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2013 Last revised: 26 Apr 2015

See all articles by David R. Agrawal

David R. Agrawal

University of Kentucky - James W. Martin School of Public Policy and Administration; University of Kentucky - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: March 2015

Abstract

Local sales tax rates influence the location of retail activity. This paper develops a theory and empirical identification strategy for studying sales tax competition with “multiple federations,” as exemplified by multiple counties each containing several cities. In addition to strategic interactions with nearby cities and a city’s own county, city tax rates are influenced by the tax rates of neighboring counties. Cities react heterogeneously to own-county sales tax rates depending on distance to the county border. Using data on the driving time to county borders and a comprehensive cross-section of local sales tax rates, I exploit variation in proximity to county borders to identify vertical fiscal competition. Cities located near county borders react more intensely to their county’s tax rate in comparison to towns at the interior. An increase in the neighboring county tax rate raises city tax rates in nearby counties.

Keywords: commodity taxation, tax competition, fiscal federalism

JEL Classification: H25, H71, H73, H77, R50

Suggested Citation

Agrawal, David R., Inter-Federation Competition: Sales Taxation with Multiple Federations (March 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2212234 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2212234

David R. Agrawal (Contact Author)

University of Kentucky - James W. Martin School of Public Policy and Administration ( email )

433 Patterson Office Tower
Lexington, KY 40506-0027
United States
859-257-8608 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.uky.edu/~drag222/

University of Kentucky - Department of Economics ( email )

Lexington, KY 40506
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.uky.edu/~drag222/

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

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Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.uky.edu/~drag222/

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