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Public policy makers and administrators around the world recurrently face the question of whether to grant tax privileges to businesses in order to promote investment, jobs, or economic development in general. This article analyzes a very popular form of local incentive, the property tax abatement, and its ability to reduce capital cost. The research question is: By how much do property tax abatements reduce the capital cost of business and homes? Results show that abatements can account for quite a large range of possible percentage reductions in the price of investment for firms. The findings provide public administrators and policy makers with data and a tool to assess the benefits that firms derive from abatements. This in turn can contribute to more informed abatement decisions and to an overall assessment concerning the suitability of this tool to promote economic development.




Originally published in Transylvania Review of Administrative Sciences.

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