The Homevoter Hypothesis: How Home Values Influence Local Government Taxation, School Finance, and Land-Use Policies (William Fischel)

The Homevoter Hypothesis: How Home Values Influence Local Government Taxation, School Finance, and Land-Use Policies
Best Price: $19.97

Product Description
Just as investors want the companies they hold equity in to do well, homeowners have a financial interest in the success of their communities. If neighborhood schools are good, if property taxes and crime rates are low, then the value of the homeowner’s principal asset–his home–will rise. Thus, as William Fischel shows, homeowners become watchful citizens of local government, not merely to improve their quality of life, but also to counteract the risk to their largest asset, a risk that cannot be diversified. Meanwhile, their vigilance promotes a municipal governance that provides services more efficiently than do the state or national government.

Fischel has coined the portmanteau word “”homevoter”” to crystallize the connection between homeownership and political involvement. The link neatly explains several vexing puzzles, such as why displacement of local taxation by state funds reduces school quality and why local governments are more likely to be efficient providers of environmental amenities. The Homevoter Hypothesis thereby makes a strong case for decentralization of the fiscal and regulatory functions of government.

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Item added on Wed, Oct 27, 2010

Category: Taxation

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1 reviews for this item

  1. Zoey McWilliamson Says:
    This makes a great required second book in a local government/administration course. As a matter of fact, it should be required reading for city councilmen all over America.

    Fischel does a good job of proving the “people vote with their feet” hypothesis, but more importantly, he ties property values to virtually every local government action (and inaction). Virtually everything that city government does is capitalized into property values — sometimes with negative effects and sometimes with positive effects. Americans are extremely mobile, moving every 4 years, so we really do vote with our feet to a greater extent than most city governments care to accept.

    Rating: 4 / 5

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