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Cityscape: Volume 15 Number 1 | Article 13


The goal of Cityscape is to bring high-quality original research on housing and community development issues to scholars, government officials, and practitioners. Cityscape is open to all relevant disciplines, including architecture, consumer research, demography, economics, engineering, ethnography, finance, geography, law, planning, political science, public policy, regional science, sociology, statistics, and urban studies.

Cityscape is published three times a year by the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Climate Change and City Hall

Volume 15 Number 1

Mark D. Shroder

Michelle P. Matuga

A Convenient Truth: Property Taxes and Revenue Stability

James Alm, Tulane University


Local governments in the United States typically rely on several main sources of own-source revenues, including individual income taxes, general sales taxes, specific excise taxes, fees and charges, and local property taxes. Of these sources, the dominant is by far the property tax. According to the United States Census Bureau (, local property taxes accounted for roughly three-fourths of total local government tax revenues and for nearly one-half of total local own-source revenues (including fees and charges) in 2010.

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