Whither the Property Tax: New Perspectives on a Fiscal Mainstay

Author ORCID Identifier

Roy Bahl: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7956-5076

Jorge Martinez Vasquez https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2230-9204

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



The future role of the property tax in government finance systems around the world is anything but clear. While assessment limits, rollbacks, and even elimination of the property tax are the focus of the U.S. policy discussion, property tax collections in Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries rarely rise above 3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), and the property tax is a very weak revenue source in developing and transition countries (for reviews, see Bahl and Martinez-Vazquez 2008). The chapters in this book address the reasons for this state of affairs and ask whether the property tax will play a reduced fiscal role in the future or if new reform paradigms might reverse this pattern.


(c) 2010 Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. From Bahl, Roy W., Jorge. Martinez-Vazquez, and Joan M. Youngman. Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on the Property Tax. Cambridge: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 2010.