The political economy of sales taxes and sales tax exemptions
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I analyze the choice politicians face when seeking votes from groups that lobby for sales tax rate decreases or tax exemptions, given the constraint that politicians want to raise a certain amount of revenue. Using data on sales taxes, I develop a model predicting a positive relationship between the number of exemptions and the sales tax rate. The estimation results provide support for this prediction. Each additional exemption is associated with an increase of between 0.10 and 0.25 percentage points in the tax rate.
KeywordsSales taxes Tax exemptions State politics Interest groups
This paper is based on a my co-authored working paper with (Militaru and Stratmann 2014).
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