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Author
Title Three essays on the formation and finance of local governments
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Publication Date
Date Accessioned
Degree PhD
Discipline/Department Public Policy
Degree Level doctoral
University/Publisher Georgia Tech
Abstract This dissertation follows a three-essay format. Each essay evaluates a different fiscal institution from a public administration perspective. In the first essay I examine whether state-funded property tax exemptions are effective in reducing the property taxes. This class of exemption is characterized by a grant from state to local governments that is intended to replace property tax revenue and lower property tax payments. Two separate theories of local fiscal behavior predict that that price effects and fiscal illusion will reduce the effectiveness of this type of tax relief. I test these predictions using panel regression analysis on county-level data from Georgia. I find that only two thirds of the revenue allocated to this program is actually used for tax relief. In the second essay I test a model of the property tax in which the levy is set to balance the difference between budgeted expenditures and expected receipts from all other revenue sources. This model demonstrates how the property tax can be used to offset unexpected changes to other revenues given a change in personal income. This model is contrasted with an alternative model in which expenditures are budgeted after expected total revenues have been determined. I will estimate both models for local governments in Georgia and test which more accurately describes local fiscal performance. I will also use both to predict changes to the property tax over a period of time and measure which model generated the more accurate forecast. Unlike the first two papers, which are quantitative analyses of fiscal data, this chapter is a case study of the contract city model of governance as implemented in the newly incorporated city of Sandy Springs, Georgia. I investigate whether the scope of outsourcing in contract cities creates additional challenges for city officials that manage contractor performance. I evaluate the incentive structures in the contract agreements that influence the principal-agent relationship using a textual analysis research method. I find that certain combinations of municipal functions in a single public-private partnership creates the potential for negative synergies to arise which would increase the difficulty of monitoring and managing the private partner.
Subjects/Keywords Property tax; Contract cities; Local government; Property tax; Tax relief; Government outsourcing; Local government; Local finance Accounting; Tax exemption; Property tax; Municipal services Contracting out
Contributors David Sjoquist (Committee Member); Douglas Noonan (Committee Member); Greg Lewis (Committee Member); Jon Rork (Committee Member); Robert J. Eger III (Committee Member); W. Bartley Hildreth (Committee Member)
Country of Publication us
Record ID handle:1853/42890
Repository gatech
Date Indexed 2020-05-13
Issued Date 2011-11-14 00:00:00
Note [degree] PhD; [advisor] Committee Member: David Sjoquist; Committee Member: Douglas Noonan; Committee Member: Greg Lewis; Committee Member: Jon Rork; Committee Member: Robert J. Eger III; Committee Member: W. Bartley Hildreth;

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Property Taxes Per Capita Georgia Counties 1990-2007 46 Figure 2.8: Georgia County Revenue Shares 1991-2006 46 Figure 2.9: Mechanics of Homeowner's Tax Relief Credit 49 Figure 2.10: Graph of Tax Share Against Log of Per Capita Income 52 Figure…

…to this program is actually used for tax relief. In the second essay I test a model of the property tax in which the levy is set to balance the difference between budgeted expenditures and expected receipts from all other revenue sources. This model…

…intended to provide property tax relief to homeowners. As of 2007, 47 states offer homeowners either a homestead exemption or a 1 credit, 34 states have circuit breakers and 26 states allow deferrals on property taxes owed (Baer 2008). While…

…some of these policies are simply regulations that restrict local procedures for calculating the tax for a given property, many tax relief programs transfer state funds to local governments to replace property tax revenues. However, if local governments…

…are able to use these grants for purposes other than property tax relief, then state-funded relief programs may yield little actual reduction in taxpayer burden and may even increase the level of property taxation. This essay evaluates one specific…

…type of property tax relief program – a statefunded homestead exemption. These programs generally consist of a fixed property tax exemption specified by the state that is paired with a grant to local governments to offset lost revenue. Duncombe and…

…homestead exemptions provide tax relief to homeowners, or whether local officials ‗capture‘ the reimbursement funds by raising property tax rates. Two factors appear to make the latter outcome likely. First, the structure of the relief grant gives local…

…local governments, taxpayers may not be fully aware of the 2 amount of funds received. If taxpayers do not know how much tax relief they should receive from the exemption, local officials may be able to capture the grant by raising property tax rates…

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