Using Property Tax to Shape Local Tax Policy: The Case of the Union of Polish Metropolises
 
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Publish date: 2017-04-30
 
Gospodarka Narodowa 2017;288(2):45–67
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ABSTRACT
Municipal taxes are connected with local tax governance, which includes the right of municipal authorities to shape the amounts of some taxes through establishing tax rates and introducing tax reliefs and exemptions. Therefore, it is important to identify and understand the reasons behind the policies of local authorities toward local taxes. The article concentrates on property tax, which is the most efficient local tax. The paper aims to show how municipal governments use opportunities provided by the law in force. For this reason, correlation methods were applied to establish the association between lowering tax rates and budget incomes and to explain the statistical diversification of property tax rates. The study is based on two sources: official data provided by budget status reports (Rb-27s reports) and minutes from municipal council meetings that passed tax resolutions. The analysis covers 12 Polish cities that are members of the Union of Polish Metropolises. The results of the empirical study demonstrate diversity in the tax policies of large cities. The differences can to an extent be explained by the size and wealth of a city. What’s more, the results confirm that tax policy is correlated with city income, but this changes significantly over time.
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