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The Economic Efficiency of Forest Taxes

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The forest taxation literature has focused on measuring "tax burden," the present value of the difference between untaxed forest income and net after tax income. If, as many authors assume, taxes have no effect on forest management, this measure is always just the present value of the tax revenue collected. Although interesting, tax burden will often fail to measure whether one tax is more efficient than another. Excess burden, the present value of lost income from tax-induced distortions, is the appropriate measure of the relative efficiency of forest taxes. This paper measures one component of excess burden, the magnitude of the rotation age distortions caused by property and yield taxes. Collecting equivalent revenue, yield taxes actually do outperform property taxes but provide only a small quantitative advantage. For. Sci. 33(2):367-378.

Keywords: Tax burden; excess burden; property taxes; yield taxes

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Associate Professor at Yale University in the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Economics Department

Publication date: June 1, 1987

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