Magazine article Public Management

Doesn't Pertain to My Area

Magazine article Public Management

Doesn't Pertain to My Area

Article excerpt

After reading the August 2012 PM article, "Break the Boom and Bust Cycle: How to Counter Declining Property Taxes," I want to offer my opinion that the theory in this article isn't exactly relevant to southwest Missouri. Here, local governments collect little property tax--most goes to school districts--and the county government where we are located, Christian County, doesn't collect property tax at all.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

So maybe the author's research is relevant in some states, but I'm not so sure I agree that it pertains to my community, as property tax revenue is not a significant portion of our revenue. Plus, I don't believe necessarily that if people have a reduction in real-estate property taxes that they will definitely put that savings into fixing up their home and/or commercial buildings.

There is a great deal of variability across the country regarding the degree to which individual jurisdictions rely on property tax revenues. As you point out, some local governments receive no property tax revenues whatsoever. All states and their component jurisdictions, however, are free to determine what taxes are levied and in what proportion those taxes will contribute to revenues.

But a community that does not levy a property tax today could decide to do so in the future, either instead of or in addition to other existing taxes. The point of the August 2012 PM article is that some taxes make productive activities more costly and other taxes do not. …

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