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Fiscal Zoning and Economists' Views of the Property Tax

William A. Fischel

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics

June 19, 2013

Fiscal zoning is the practice of using local land-use regulation to preserve and possibly enhance the local property tax base. Economists agree that if localities can conduct "perfect zoning," which effectively makes all real estate development decisions subject to a review that balances its benefits and costs to the community, then the local property tax can be converted into a benefit tax and lacks the deadweight loss of taxation. This essay argues that American zoning is closer to this ideal than many other economists think. The practice is often difficult to detect because zoning serves several objectives besides fiscal prudence.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 25

Keywords: fiscal zoning, property tax, benefit taxation, deadweight loss

JEL Classification: H7

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Date posted: June 20, 2013  

Suggested Citation

Fischel, William A., Fiscal Zoning and Economists' Views of the Property Tax (June 19, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2281955 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2281955

Contact Information

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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References:  58