Effects of Sales Tax Competition on Local Revenue Capacity: Empirical Analysis of California County Governments


  • Jongmin Shon Soongsil University, School of Public Administration
Keywords: tax competition, lokal sales tax, geospatial analysis, spatial Durbin model


This study empirically examines the effects of tax competition in both horizontal and vertical ways on the revenue capacity of counties in California from 2003 to 2015. Spatial Durbin model (SDM) identifies the effects of two-way tax competition on a county’s revenue capacity. The findings provide evidence that local sales tax helps a county expand its total revenue, but the two-way tax competition brings about a decrease in local revenue capacity as a result of spillovers. Furthermore, a lower-taxing area can have more benefits because the expansions in the neighbors are much greater than the higher-taxing one. In spite of the extant research of tax competition, this study adds another contribution to this research arena that the empirical approach of the SDM rules out the geospatial effects of the other explanatory variables that might have some unobserved effects in the extant literature.


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