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Measuring non-school fiscal imbalances of New England municipalities
Local jurisdictions differ in the per capita costs that they must incur to provide a standard quality and quantity of municipal services at average efficiency. These cost differences are attributable to local social and economic characteristics or circumstances that are outside the control of local government.
Shifting property tax burdens in Massachusetts
Measuring disparities in non-school costs and revenue capacity among Massachusetts cities and towns
This paper develops new measures of environmental costs and local revenue capacity as the basis for a new municipal aid formula in Massachusetts. On the cost side, unlike previous studies, we quantify the effects on local non-school spending of characteristics related to uncontrollable costs. On the capacity side, we account for the constraints of a tax limitation, for the first time in the literature, by estimating these constraints as a function of residents? incomes. The estimates of costs and capacity indicate substantial inter-local fiscal disparities in Massachusetts. Our approach is ...