Talk:Property tax in the United States

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Rating, priority; POV tag[edit]

This article is a fairly good start. It delves a bit too much into minutia (e.g., procedure that an assessor follows) that is jurisdiction dependent, and lacks much of an overview or generalization. The article is of very significant importance to U.S. homeowners, all of whom must face property taxes. I have rated it start class and mid priority. This is NOT my specialty area, but I will try to improve it somewhat. Note that significant parts as written have some value, but likely are far too detailed for a general article. I may move part to the discussion for retention and generalization.

I have also tagged parts of the article with an appropriate POV tag, as they clearly reflect views that are not universally shared. Sfcardwell (talk) 20:38, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

Proposed organization of article[edit]

Following is an outline of proposed (re)organization of the article:

  • introduction
  • Basics
  • Property subject to tax
  • Tax rates
    • Rate or millage
    • Assessment ratio
  • Valuation
    • Who determines value
    • Market value
    • Assessed value
      • Equalization among jurisdictions
    • Valuation techniques
      • Comparable sales
      • Cost
      • Income
    • Special use values
    • Revaluation
    • Limits on increases
  • Assessment process
    • Declarations by owner
    • Valuation by assessor
    • Notification to owner
    • Review
    • Judicial appeal
    • Levy of tax
  • Exemptions and incentives
  • Payment
  • Liens and seizures
    • Attachment date
    • Delinquency
    • Seizure and sale
  • Tax administrations
    • Assessors
    • Boards of review
    • Multi-jurisdiction administrations
  • Constitutional limitations
  • Policy issues
  • Opinions on property tax

I will post a draft here, possibly in stages. Sfcardwell (talk) 01:45, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Draft article as expanded[edit]

Following is a draft of the article as outlined above. Editing help appreciated. I will work on references and other editing over the next 2+ weeks. Skeleton ref pairs are included as placeholders, though do not show on preview.

Sfcardwell (talk) 04:44, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Note: no comments were posted on the first draft. A revised draft follows, significantly enhanced, with most references completed. In addition to the following, I will likely condense the current opinions about tax policy: property tax has remained the primary source of revenue for local governments for over 300 years; I think the arguments for changing it are falling on deaf ears among the voters. The opinions expressed in the existing article, if continued at their present length, violate the undue weight policy.

Revised draft follows:

  • introduction

Most local governments in the United States impose a property tax as a principal source of revenue.[1] This tax may be imposed on real estate or personal property. The tax is nearly always computed as the fair market value of the property times an assessment ratio times a tax rate. Values are determined by local officials, and may be disputed by property owners. The tax is administered at the local government level. Many states impose limits on how local jurisdictions may tax property. Since many properties are subject to tax by more than one local jurisdiction, some states provide a method by which values are made uniform among such jurisdictions. Property tax is rarely self assessed. The tax becomes a legally enforceable obligation attaching to the property at a specific date. Most states impose taxes resembling property tax on vehicles registered in the state, and some states tax some other types of business property.


Most jurisdictions below the state level in the United States impose a tax on interests in real property (land, buildings, and permanent improvements) that are considered under state law to be ownership interests.[2] Rules vary widely by jurisdiction.[3] However, certain features are nearly universal. Some jurisdictions also tax some types of business personal property, particularly inventory and equipment.[4] States generally do not impose property taxes.[5]

Many overlapping jurisdictions may have authority to tax the same property.Cite error: A <ref> tag is missing the closing </ref> (see the help page).

The amount of tax is determined annually based on market value of each property on a particular date,[6] and most jurisdictions require redeterminations of value periodically. The tax is computed as the determined market value times an assessment ratio times the tax rate.[7] Assessment ratios and tax rates vary among jurisdictions, and may vary by type of property within a jurisdiction.[8] Most jurisdictions' legislative bodies determine their assessment ratios and tax rates, though some states impose constraints on such determinations.

Tax assessors for taxing jurisdictions determine property values in a variety of ways, but are generally required to base such determinations on fair market value.[9] Fair market value is that price for a willing and informed seller would sell the property to a willing and informed buyer, neither being under any compulsion to act. Where a property has recently been sold between unrelated sellers, such sale establishes fair market value. In other (i.e., most) cases, the value must be estimated. Common estimation techniques include comparable sales, depreciated cost, and an income approach. Property owners may also declare a value, which is subject to change by the tax assessor.

Once value is determined, the assessor typically notifies the last known property owner of the value determination. Such notices may include the calculated amount of tax. The property owner may then contest the value. [10] Property values are generally subject to review by a board of review or similar body, before which a property owner may contest determinations. [11]

After values are settled, property tax bills or notices are sent to property owners.[12] Payment times and terms vary widely. If a property owner fails to pay the tax, the taxing jurisdiction has various remedies for collection, in many cases including seizure and sale of the property. Property taxes constitute a lien on the property to which transferes are also subject.

Property subject to tax[edit]

Jurisdictions imposing a property tax nearly all tax real property.[13] This includes land, buildings, and all improvements (often called fixtures) that cannot be removed without damage to the property.[14] Taxed property includes homes, farms, business premises, and most other real property. Many jurisdictions also tax certain types of other property used in a business. Property existing and located in the jurisdiction on a particular date is subject to this tax. This date is often January 1 of each year, but varies among jurisdictions.

Tax rates[edit]

Tax rates vary widely among jurisdictions. [15] They are generally set by the taxing jurisdiction's governing body.[16] The method of determining the rate varies widely, but may be constrained under laws of particular states. Changes in tax rate or assessment ratio may have the same practical effect of changing net tax due on a particular property.

Rate or millage[edit]

The rate of tax is a percentage of the assessed value of the property subject to tax. This in some cases is expressed as a “millage” or dollars of tax per thousand dollars of assessed value. [17]

Assessment ratio[edit]

Most jurisdictions impose the tax on some stated portion of fair market value, referred to as an assessment ratio. [18] This ratio may vary depending on the type or use of the property. The assessment ratio can, in many jurisdictions, be changed from year to year by the taxing jurisdiction's governing body.


Main article: Real estate appraisal

Determining the value of property is a critical aspect of property taxation, as such value determines the amount of tax due. Various techniques may be used to determine value. Except in the case of property recently sold, valuation has some inherently subjective aspects. Values may change over time, and many states require taxing jurisdictions to redetermine values every three or four years. The value of property is often determined based on current use of the property, rather than potential uses.[19] Property values are determined at a particular valuation date for each jurisdiction, which varies widely.

Who determines value[edit]

Property owners may make a declaration of the value of property they own to a taxing authority. This is often referred to as rendition.[20] The taxing authority may accept this value or make its own determination of value. The value determinations are generally made by a tax assessor for the taxing authority. Some states require uniform values to be determined for each particular property.

Market value[edit]

Property values are generally based on fair market value of the property on the valuation date. Fair market value has been defined as that price a willing and informed purchaser would pay to an unrelated willing and informed seller where neither party is under compulsion to act. Sale of the particular property between unrelated persons generally conclusively establishes fair market value on the date of sale. Thus, a recent sale of the same property provides good evidence of market value. Where there has been no recent sale, other techniques must be used to determine market value.

Assessed value[edit]

Many jurisdictions impose tax on a value that is only a portion of market value. This assessed value is the market value times an assessment ratio. [21] Assessment ratios are often set by local taxing jurisdictions. However, some states impose constraints on the assessment ratios used by taxing jurisdictions within the state.[22] Some such restrictions vary by type or use of property, and may vary by jurisdiction within the state. Some states impose restrictions on the rate at which assessed value may increase.[23]

Equalization among jurisdictions[edit]

Many states require that multiple jurisdictions taxing the same property must use the same market value.[24] Generally, such state provides a board of equalization or similar body to determine values in cases of disputes between jurisdictions.[25]

Valuation techniques[edit]

Tax assessors may use a variety of techniques for determining the value of property that was not recently sold.[26] Determining which technique to use and how to apply it inherently involves judgment.

Comparable sales[edit]

Values may be determined based on recent sales of comparable property.[27] The value of most homes is usually determined based on sales of comparable homes in the immediate area. Valuation adjustments may be necessary to achieve comparability. Among the factors considered in determining if a property is comparable are:

  • Nature of the property (house, office building, bare land, etc.)
  • Location
  • Size
  • Use of the property (residential, commercial, farm, etc.)
  • Nature of improvements
    • Types and uses of buildings
    • Features of the buildings (number of bedrooms, level of amenities, etc.)
    • Age of improvements
  • Desirability of the property (view, proximity to schools, type of access, nearby detracting features, etc.)
  • Restrictions on the property (easements, building code restrictions, physical restrictions, etc.)
  • Utility of the property (fertility of land, drainage or lack thereof, environmental issues, etc.)
  • General economic conditions


Where recent comparable property sales are not available, a cost based approach may be used. In this approach, the original or replacement cost of a property is reduced by an allowance for decline in value (depreciation) of improvements.[28] In some jurisdictions, the amount of depreciation may be limited by statute. Where original cost is used, it may be adjusted for inflation or increases or decreases in cost of constructing improvements. Replacement cost may be determined by estimates of construction costs.


An alternative valuation may be used for income producing property based on economic concepts. Using the income approach, value is determined based on present values expected income streams from the property.[29] Selection of an appropriate discount rate in determining present values is a key judgmental factor influencing valuation under this approach.

Special use values[edit]

Most taxing jurisdictions provide that property used in any of several manners is subject to special valuation procedures. [30] This is commonly applied to property used for farming, forestry, or other uses common in the jurisdiction. Some jurisdictions value property at its "highest and best use", with some of these providing exceptions for homes or agricultural land.[31] Special valuation issues vary widely among jurisdictions.


All taxing jurisdictions recognize that values of property may change over time. Thus, values must be redetermined periodically. Many states and localities require that the value of property be redetermined at three or four year intervals. [32] Such revaluation may follow valuation principles above, or may use mass valuation techniques.[33]

Limits on increases[edit]

Some jurisdictions have set limits on how much property values may be increased from year to year for property tax purposes. [34] These limits may be applied yearly or cumulatively, depending on the jurisdiction's rules.

Assessment process[edit]

The assessment process varies widely by jurisdiction as to procedure and timing. In many states, the process of assessment and collection may be viewed as a two year process, where values are determined in the first year and tax assessed and paid in the second. Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page without content in them (see the help page). Most jurisdictions encourage property owners to declare the value of their property at the start of the assessment process. Property owners in all jurisdictions are given rights to appeal taxing authority determinations, but such rights vary widely.

Valuation by assessor[edit]

Jurisdictions imposing property tax uniformly charge some official with determining value of property subject to tax by the jurisdiction. Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page without content in them (see the help page). This official may be an employee or contractor to the taxing government, and is generally referred to as the tax assessor in most jurisdictions. Some taxing jurisdictions may share a common tax assessor for some or all property within the jurisdictions, especially when the jurisdictions overlap.

Tax assessors must first determine what property is subject to tax, compiling lists or rolls of such property. In many jurisdictions, the tax assessor notifies the last known owner of each property that the property is subject to tax. The tax assessor must determine the value of each property subject to tax. Often, the value used is the value from the previous assessment, possibly increased or decreased by a factor determined by the tax assessor.

Notification to owner[edit]

Following determination of value, tax assessors are generally required to notify the property owner(s) of the value so determined.[35] Some jurisdictions provide that notification is made by publishing a list of properties and values in a local newspaper.[36] In some jurisdictions, such notification is required only if the value increases by more than a certain percentage. In some jurisdictions, the notification of value may also constitute a tax bill or assessment. Generally, notification of the owner starts the limited period during which the owner may contest the value. Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page without content in them (see the help page).


Owners of property are nearly always entitled to discuss valuations with the tax assessor, and such discussions may result in changes in the assessor's valuation.[37] Many jurisdictions provide for a review of value determinations. Such review is often done by a board of review, often composed of residents of the jurisdiction who are not otherwise associated with the jurisdiction's government. [38] In addition, some jurisdictions and some states provide for additional review bodies. [39]


Nearly all jurisdiction provide for a mechanism for contesting the assessor's determination of value. Such mechanisms vary widely.[40]

Judicial appeal[edit]

All jurisdictions levying property tax must allow property owners to go to court to contest valuation and taxes. [41] Procedures for such judicial appeal vary widely. Some jurisdictions prohibit judicial appeal until administrative appeals are exhausted. Some permit binding arbitration.[42]

Levy of tax[edit]

Tax is levied at the tax rate and assessment ratio applicable for the year.[43] Taxing jurisdictions levy tax on property following a preliminary or final determination of value. Property taxes in the United States generally are due only if the taxing jurisdiction has levied or billed the tax. The form of levy or billing varies, but is often accomplished by mailing a tax bill to the property owner or mortgage company.[44]

Exemptions and incentives[edit]

Taxing jurisdictions provide a wide variety of methods a property owner may use to reduce tax. Nearly all jurisdictions provide a homestead exemption reducing the value, and thus tax, of an individual's home.[45] Many provide additional exemptions for veterans.[46] Taxing jurisdictions may also offer temporary or permanent full or partial exemptions from property taxes, often as an incentive for a particular business to locate its premises within the jurisdiction.[47] Some jurisdictions provide broad exemptions from property taxes for businesses located within certain areas, such as enterprise zones.[48]


Time and manner of payment of property taxes varies widely. [49] Property taxes in many jurisdictions are due in a single payment by January 1. Many jurisdictions provide for payment in multiple installments.[50] In some jurisdictions, the first installment payment is based on prior year tax. Payment is generally required by cash or check delivered or mailed to the taxing jurisdiction.

Liens and seizures[edit]

Property taxes generally attach to the property; that is, they become an encumbrance on the property which the current and future owners must satisfy.[51] This attachment, or lien, generally happens automatically without further action of the taxing authority. [52] The lien generally is removed automatically upon payment of the tax.

Attachment date[edit]

The tax lien attaches to the property at a specific date, generally the date the tax liability becomes enforceable. This date varies by state, and in some states by local jurisdiction. Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page without content in them (see the help page).


Where the property owner does not pay tax by the due date, the taxing authority may assess penalties and interest. [53] The amount, timing, and procedures vary widely. Generally, the penalty and interest are enforceable in the same manner as the tax, and attach to the property.

Seizure and sale[edit]

Where the property owner fails to pay tax, the taxing authority may act to enforce its lien. Enforcement procedures vary by state. In some states, the lien may be sold by the taxing authority to a third party, who can then attempt collection.[54] In most states, the taxing authority can seize the property and offer it for sale, generally at a public auction.[55] In some states, rights acquired in such sale may be limited.

Tax administrations[edit]

Property taxes are generally administered separately by each jurisdiction imposing property tax,[56] though some jurisdictions may share a common property tax administration. Often the administration of the taxes is conducted from the taxing jurisdiction's administrative offices (e.g., town hall). The form and organization varies widely. Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page without content in them (see the help page).


Most taxing jurisdictions refer to the official charged with determining property values, assessing, and collecting property taxes as assessors. Assessors may be elected, appointed, hired, or contracted, depending on rules within the jurisdiction, which may vary within a state. Assessors may or not be involved in collection of tax.[57] The tax assessors in some states are required to pass certain certification examinations and/or have a certain minimum level of property valuation experience.[58] Larger jurisdictions employ full time personnel in the tax assessors office, while small jurisdictions may engage only one part time person for the entire tax assessor function.

Constitutional limitations[edit]

Property taxes, like all taxes in the United States, are subject to constraints under the United States and applicable state constitutions. The United States Constitution contains three relevant provisions: limits on Federal direct taxation, an equal protection rule, and the privileges and immunities provisions.[59] Nearly all state constitutions impose uniformity and equality rules. Most state constitutions also impose other restrictions, which vary widely.

The Federal government is generally prohibited from imposing direct taxes unless such taxes are then given to the states in proportion to population. Thus, ad valorem property taxes have not been imposed at the Federal level.

The states must grant residents of other states equal protections as taxpayers.

Uniformity and equality[edit]

State constitutions constrain taxing authorities within the state, including local governments. Typically, these constitutions require that property taxes be uniformly or equally assessed. While many states allow differing rates of taxation among tax jurisdictions, most prohibit the same jurisdiction from applying different rates to different taxpayers. These provisions have generally been interpreted to mean the method of valuation and assessment must be consistent from one local government to another. Some state courts have held that this uniformity and equality requirement does not prevent granting individualized tax credits (such as exemptions and incentives). Some states permit different classes of property (as opposed to different classes of taxpayer) to be valued using different assessment ratios. In many states the uniformity and equality provisions apply only to property taxes, leading to significant classification problems.[60]


Property taxes in the United States originated during colonial times.[61] By 1796, state and local governments in fourteen of the 15 states taxed land, but only four taxed inventory (stock in trade). Delaware did not tax property, but rather the income from it. In some states, "all property, with a few exceptions, was taxed; in others, specific objects were named. Land was taxed in one state according to quantity, in another according to quality, and in a third not at all. Responsibility for the assessment and collection of taxes in some cases attached to the state itself; in others, to the counties or townships." Vermont and North Carolina taxed land based on quantity, while New York and Rhode Island taxed land based on value. Connecticut taxed land based on type of use. Procedures varied widely.[62]

During the period from 1796 until the Civil War, a unifying principle developed: "the taxation of all property, movable and immovable, visible and invisible, or real and personal, as we say in America, at one uniform rate."[63] During this period, property taxes came to be assessed based on value. This was introduced as a requirement in many state constitutions.

After the Civil War, intangible property, including corporate stock, took on far greater importance. Taxing jurisdictions found it difficult to find and tax this sort of property. This trend led to the introduction of alternatives to the property tax (such as income and sales taxes) at the state level.[64] Property taxes remained a major source of government revenue below the state level.

During the 1900s, many jurisdictions began exempting certain property from taxes. Many jurisdictions exempted homes of war veterans.

Various economic factors have led to taxpayer initiatives in various states to limit property tax. California Proposition 13 (1978) amended the California constitution to limit aggregate property taxes to 1% of the "full cash value of such property." It also limited the increase in assessed value of real property to an inflation factor that was limited to 2% per year.

Policy issues[edit]

There are numerous policy issues regarding property tax, including:

  • Fairness
  • Progressivity
  • Administrability

In spite of these issues, many aspects of the property tax, and the reliance of local governments on it as a principal source of revenue, have remained much the same since colonial times.

Opinions on property tax[edit]

(existing section now titled “Effects” to go here, with appropriate tags)


  1. ^ Hellerstein, Jerome H., and Hellerstein, Walter, State and Local Taxation, Cases and Materials, Eighth Edition, 2001 (hereafter "Hellerstein"), page 97
  2. ^ Hellerstein, page 96.
  3. ^ Compare The Illinois Property Tax System (hereafter “IL System”), Louisiana Property Tax Basics (hereafter “La. Basics”),New York pamphlet How Property Tax Works (hereafter “NY Taxworks”), and Texas Property Tax Basics (hereafter “Texas Basics).
  4. ^ Texas Basics, page __. By contrast, the Illinois Constitution prohibist taxation of personal property; see IL System, page 5.
  5. ^ IL System, page 5; however, see IL System, page 10, for exceptions.
  6. ^ Such date varies by jurisdiction, and may be referred to as the assessment date, valuation date, lien date, or other term.
  7. ^ See La. Basics, Example 13.
  8. ^ See, e.g., IL System, page 11.
  9. ^ IL System, page 10.
  10. ^ Texas Basics, pages 13 and 21-27. IL System, pages 14-15; La. Basics, page 16.
  11. ^ IL System, pages 13-15.
  12. ^ Generally, tax assessors send the bills. In Louisiana, however, the parish sheriff is responsible for billing and collection of property tax. See La. Basics, page 2.
  13. ^ Hellerstein, page 90.
  14. ^ IL System, page 5.
  15. ^ See the Tax Foundation study [Property Taxes on Owner-Occupied Housing by State, 2004 – 2009.
  16. ^ Texas Basics, page 29.
  17. ^ See Louisiana Property Tax Basics, page 1.
  18. ^ See La. Basics, page 4.
  19. ^ Texas Basics, page 12.
  20. ^ See Texas Basics, page 11 Some jurisdictions require property owners to file a rendition annually for some types of property; see Texas Basics, page 12, and IL System, pages 10-11.
  21. ^ IL System, page 11.
  22. ^ IL System, page 11.
  23. ^ See, e.g., California Constitution Article 13A (adopted in Proposition 13.
  24. ^ IL System, page 16.
  25. ^ See, e.g., California State Board of Equalization; IL System, page 17.
  26. ^ Texas Basics, page 12.
  27. ^ Texas basics, page 12. Note that Texas requires that sales more than 24 months before a valuation date not be considered in determining values.
  28. ^ IL System, page 11.
  29. ^ IL System, page 11.
  30. ^ Illinois even has diffent procedures for assessment of farmland than for other property; IL System, page 11.
  31. ^ Texas Basics, page 1.
  32. ^ Illinois reassessment requirements vary by county; IL System page 11.
  33. ^ Texas Basics, page __.
  34. ^ See, e.g., California's “Proposition 13”; Texas Basics, page 17.
  35. ^ See Texas Basics, page 12. Procedures vary by jurisdiction. In Louisiana, no formal notice is required; instead, the assessor “opens” the books to allow property owners to view the valuations. La. Basics, page 16. Texas and some other jurisdictions also require that the notice include very specific items, and such notice may cover multiple taxing jurisdictions.
  36. ^ IL System, page 12.
  37. ^ Texas Basics, page 21.
  38. ^ IL System pages 13-16; Texas Basics, page 21.
  39. ^ See, e.g., California State Board of Equalization; IL System, page 16.
  40. ^ See Texas Basics for a guide to preparing protests of value, with advice applicable to most jurisdictions.
  41. ^ Failure to allow appeal has been held to violate the due process clause of the U.S. constitution. See also IL System, page 16; Texas Basics, page 26.
  42. ^ Texas Basics, page 26.
  43. ^ Illinois refers to the process of determining the tax rate and assessment ratio as “levy,” to the process of calculating tax amount as “extension,” and also refers to the preparation of tax bills. See IL System, variosu sections.
  44. ^ IL System, page 22.
  45. ^ La. Basics, page 5; IL System, pages 25-26.
  46. ^ Texas Basics, pages 15-16.
  47. ^ IL System, page 26.
  48. ^ IL System, page 27.
  49. ^ Dates may also vary within a state; Texas Basics, page 31.
  50. ^ IL System, page 22; Texas Basics, page 32.
  51. ^ IL System, page 23.
  52. ^ IL System, page 23.
  53. ^ Texas Basics, page 32.
  54. ^ IL System, pages 23-24.
  55. ^ Texas Basics, page 33.
  56. ^ IL System, page 10.
  57. ^ La. Basics, page 2, indicates the parish sheriff bills and collects property tax.
  58. ^ IL System, page 10.
  59. ^ Hellerstein, page __.
  60. ^ Hellerstein, page __.
  61. ^ See Ely, Richard T., Taxation in American Cities and Towns, 1888 (hereafter "Ely"), page 110-111, discussing property tax in Springfield, Mass. after 1655. Also see Hellerstein citing Jens P. Jensen, Property Taxation in the United States, 1931, referring to a 1634 Massachusetts property tax statute. See also New Jersey League of Municipalities "Short History of the New Jersey property Tax" (hereafter NJLM).
  62. ^ Ely, page 116-127.
  63. ^ Ely, page 131. NJLM indicates that New Jersey adopted uniform assessments based on actual value in 1851, and the concept was added to the New Jersey constitution in 1875.
  64. ^ Hellerstein, page 90.

External links[edit]

Overview guides are provided by some states:

Constructive edits should be made above or commented upon. Given the low quality of the existing article, I will post the above draft, with any comments/changes made, in about a week. Sfcardwell (talk) 04:55, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

Simple question[edit]

Is the tax levied on a monthly basis? Annual basis? It's never obviously stated in the article. For me, as a non-US citizen it's not that obvious. - Marcos [Tupungato] (talk) 22:40, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

Deleted chart[edit]

The chart I deleted was based on a SIMULATION, which in turn was based on 1990 data. The data used in the chart were put together by a think tank, and purport to represent 2007 averages across over 10,000 jurisdictions. The think tank did not disclose assumptions used in the simulation, which assumptions are material. Further, they did not disclose how they weighted their calculations to derive an "average". The conclusions are, at best, highly unreliable. In addition, the chart was created from this data by another editor, and the captions do not fully disclose the problems with the source, even after my attempts to do so. No other sources are cited. Thus, the chart and data appear to be OR of the think tank, which is not a reliable source, particularly when doing simulations with 17 year old data. Oldtaxguy (talk) 21:54, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

The removed image has been re-added with the internal image reference placed in the description caption. The Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy study is a reliable source. Paul Krugman a Nobel Laureate in Economics uses the effective tax information from the ITEP in his Microeconomics textbook on page 188. I trust that Paul Krugman a Nobel Laureate knows what he is talking about and checks his sources. If you disagree with his opinion than we will need to take this issue to the reliable sources noticeboard and have other editors voice their opinion. The specific title and information of the textbook is: Paul Krugman, Robin Wells, Microeconomics, Edition 2, revised, Macmillan, 2008 ISBN 0716771594, 9780716771593, Page: 188. Guest2625 (talk) 02:35, 25 May 2012 (UTC)