CONSISTENCY OF PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENT PRACTICE : THE CASE OF PHILADELPHIA [electronic resource].
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- In this thesis an attempt is made to develop a systematic methodology for the analysis of the inequity of assessment practice found in local property tax administrations.
Most previous studies on inaccuracy of assessment have concentrated simply on measuring the dispersion of effective local property tax rates. While this approach provides some insights concerning the non-homogeneity of effective tax rates, it fails to analyze whether this heterogeneity is caused by systematic misassessment or is simply the result of random assessment errors. Specifically, they fail to inquire as to whether local tax inequities are systematically related to housing or socio-economic characteristics of the residents.
This study develops and parameterizes simple models which provide information about the intrajurisdictional variance of effective tax rates with respect to both housing and resident characteristics. These models are constructed on the basis of six possible major sources of assessment variance: (1) pure random error, (2) "honest" error due to housing characteristics that are hard to observe, (3) inertia of assessment practice: housing market model; (4) unequal distribution of publicly provided services: intrajurisdictional Tiebout model; (5) the effect of litigation: legal redress model; (6) the pure discrimination: political economy model.
A discussion of the theoretical and empirical aspects of property tax incidence is presented, and a dollar measure of inequity is suggested. The statutory tax relief measure, called "circuit breaker", was included in the model to capture institutional effects.
This study uses micro-observations of the city of Philadelphia, drawn from 1978 Philadelphia SMSA tape file of the Annual Housing Survey, to identify the structure of nonuniform assessment and to test the models listed above.
Through regression and logit analysis it is found that the variation in effective property tax rates for the sample of Philadelphia is largely random, but 6-10 percent of the variation is systematically related to the housing and personal characteristics. And the personal characteristics, especially race of resident and family income, are major sources of those systematic variance, while the predicted pattern of housing characteristics do not support either housing market or Tiebout model.
Finally, an attempt is made to evaluate the circuit breaker as an effective policy for low income elderly homeowners and propose a new program to satisfy the existing policy goals given the current local policy reaction pattern.
- Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 44-07, Section: A, page: 2193.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Pennsylvania, 1983.
- Local notes:
- School code: 0175.
- University of Pennsylvania.
- Contained In:
- Dissertation Abstracts International 44-07A.
- Access Restriction:
- Restricted for use by site license.
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