The Effect of tax price on voter choice in local school referenda: Some new evidence from Michigan

Document Type


Publication Date



A number of studies have examined voter behavior in local school tax referenda. Drawing from demand theory, empirical estimates based on Michigan data have been derived. In many of these studies, the concept of marginal tax price was used to explain voter behavior. Conceptually, marginal tax price is the incremental cost that an individual faces with the passage of a school millage referendum. Ideally, this price would account for taxpayers' perceptions of the property tax credit against the Michigan income tax as well as other statutory programs. Using logit analysis, models of voter choice for property owners using relative tax price and variations of marginal tax price are empirically tested. The results indicate that voters do react to the property tax credit. In addition, an improved marginal tax price results from accounting for a voter's total assessed value of property within the taxing jurisdiction. Relative tax price is found to add to the understanding of how voters perceive price.

Publisher's Statement

© National Tax Association Mar 1990. Publisher's version of record: http://search.proquest.com/docview/203295077/abstract/8880AD549661419FPQ/1?accountid=28041

Publication Title

National Tax Journal