Thursday, June 26, 2008

"Tax Towns" on Google Maps

Several years ago, the institute ran a short story about the political geography of tax preferences in Massachusetts. Based on the public finance work of Charles Tiebout, we examined the following question: Where would a resident choose to live in the Commonwealth if he favored paying higher taxes and receiving a larger-than- average bundle of public goods and vice versa? We looked at several important referenda on taxes as well as Proposition 2 1/2 overrides. In the final analysis were able to identify various communities as either "Pro-Tax" or "Anti-Tax Towns." The anti-tax towns, so-called, were grouped mostly in the southeastern part of the state while those favoring an expanded tax base could be found in central Massachusetts.

Having completed this thought experiment years before the advent of Web 2.0 technology, we often wondered what our data would look like thanks to the magic of Google Maps. Here are our cartographical results.

View Larger Map

The original article can be found here. We're likely to revisit this story early next year after the results from this fall's ballot question to abolish the state personal income trickles in.

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