Taxation and Citizen Voice in School District Parcel Tax Elections

Isaac Martin, Jennifer Nations
2018 Sociological Science  
Local taxation produces consequential resource inequalities among public school districts, but little is known about how policy design affects taxpayers' willingness to pay for schooling. We show that voters are more likely to approve local school taxes if the policy is written to require citizen-state consultation on how the funds are spent. In a sample of 236 California school district elections, the promise of indirect consultation with a citizen advisory board was associated with a 3.7
more » ... ted with a 3.7 percentage-point greater share of voters and a probability of passage that was 31 percentage points greater, whereas direct consultation with voters was associated with a 5.7 percentage-point greater share of voters and a probability of passage that was 32 percentage points greater, relative to a proposed tax increase with no consultation. These results provide evidence that citizens may trade increased taxation for increased voice even within an established democracy.
doi:10.15195/v5.a27 fatcat:hfl5uoxfnbgtbldaymnt7gwzzy