Proposition 13 and Its Offspring: for Good or for Evil?
Therese J. McGuire
52 National Tax Journal 129-38 (March 1999)
The answer to the question posed in the title depends on which model of local government behavior is operative. If it is the median-voter/benevolent-dictator model, then property tax limits can only be for evil. If it is the Leviathan/budget-maximizing-bureaucratic model, then property tax limits have the potential to improve the welfare of local resident voters. From this perspective, I reassess the empirical literature on state-imposed limits on local property taxes and conclude that the evidence can be interpreted as supportive of the notion that the Leviathan model may be operative and thus that property tax limits have the potential to improve welfare.