Predicting success or failure of tax -base revenue sharing attempts: A comparative analysis

George Andrew Solli, Florida International University


To promote regional or mutual improvement, numerous interjurisdictional efforts to share tax bases have been attempted. Most of these efforts fail to be consummated. Motivations to share revenues include: narrowing fiscal disparities, enhancing regional cooperation and economic development, rationalizing land-use, and minimizing revenue losses caused by competition to attract and keep businesses. Various researchers have developed theories to aid understanding of why interjurisdictional cooperation efforts succeed or fail. Walter Rosenbaum and Gladys Kammerer studied two contemporaneous Florida local-government consolidation attempts. Boyd Messinger subsequently tested their Theory of Successful Consolidation on nine consolidation attempts. Paul Peterson's dual theories on Modern Federalism posit that all governmental levels attempt to further economic development and that politicians act in ways that either further their futures or cement job security. Actions related to the latter theory often interfere with the former. Samuel Nunn and Mark Rosentraub sought to learn how interjurisdictional cooperation evolves. Through multiple case studies they developed a model framing interjurisdictional cooperation in four dimensions. This dissertation investigates the ability of the above theories to help predict success or failure of regional tax-base revenue sharing attempts. A research plan was formed that used five sequenced steps to gather data, analyze it, and conclude if hypotheses concerning the application of these theories were valid. The primary analytical tools were: multiple case studies, cross-case analysis, and pattern matching. Data was gathered from historical records, questionnaires, and interviews. The results of this research indicate that Rosenbaum-Kammerer theory can be a predictor of success or failure in implementing tax-base revenue sharing if it is amended as suggested by Messinger and further modified by a recommendation in this dissertation. Peterson's Functional and Legislative theories considered together were able to predict revenue sharing proposal outcomes. Many of the indicators of interjurisdictional cooperation forwarded in the Nunn-Rosentraub model appeared in the cases studied, but the model was not a reliable forecasting instrument.

Subject Area

Public administration

Recommended Citation

Solli, George Andrew, "Predicting success or failure of tax -base revenue sharing attempts: A comparative analysis" (2005). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3169475.