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In public choice theory, tax choice (sometimes called taxpayer sovereignty[1] or earmarking[2][failed verification]) is the belief that individual taxpayers should have direct control over how their taxes are spent. Its proponents apply the theory of consumer choice to public finance. They claim taxpayers react positively when they are allowed to allocate portions of their taxes to specific spending.[3][4][5]

Contents

OpinionsEdit

Daniel J. Brown[1] examines tax-target plans in educational programs.

Alan T. Peacock, in his 1961 book The Welfare Society,[page needed] advocates greater diversity in public services (education, housing, hospitals).[clarification needed]

Optimal quantities of public goodsEdit

According to Vincent and Elinor Ostrom, it is possible that government may oversupply, and a market arrangement may undersupply, those public goods for which exclusion is not feasible.[6][7]

Foot voting versus tax choiceEdit

Voting with your feet and voting with your taxes are two methods that allow taxpayers to reveal their preferences for public policies. Foot voting refers to where people move to areas that offer a more attractive bundle of public policies. In theory foot voting would force local governments to compete for taxpayers. Tax choice, on the other hand, would allow taxpayers to indicate their preferences with their individual taxes.

In the Tiebout model, for example, there is costless mobility; individuals seek out a jurisdiction that provides exactly the level of output of the public good that they wish to consume. In so doing, they reveal their preferences for "local" public outputs and generate a Pareto-efficient outcome in the public sector. – Wallace E. Oates[8]

Legislative measuresEdit

Four bills involving tax choice have been introduced by the United States Congress since 1971. The Presidential Election Campaign Fund, enacted in 1971, allows taxpayers to allocate $3 of their taxes to presidential election campaigns. The 2000 Taxpayers’ Choice Debt Reduction Act would have allowed taxpayers to designate money toward reduction of the national debt.[9] The 2007 Opt Out of Iraq War Act would have allowed taxpayers to designate money toward certain social programs.[10] The 2011 Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is Act would have allowed taxpayers to make voluntary contributions (not tax payments) to the government.[11][12] These later bills died in committee.

In popular cultureEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Brown, Daniel J. (Fall 1979). "The Case for Tax-Target Plans". Journal of Education Finance. University of Illinois Press. 5 (2): 215–224. JSTOR 40703229. For educators, these "new" values reflect a demand for taxpayer sovereignty, greater choice among educational programs, and more responsiveness on the part of educational systems.
  2. ^ Buchanan 1963.
  3. ^ Lamberton, Cait (4 March 2011). "Your Money, Your Choice". Democracy: A Journal of Ideas.
  4. ^ Sherry Xin Li; Catherine Eckel; Philip J. Grossman; Tara Larson Brown. "Do Earmarks Increase Giving to Government?". CiteSeerX 10.1.1.415.2207.
  5. ^ Alm, James; Jackson, Betty R.; McKee, Michael (1993). "Fiscal exchange, collective decision institutions, and tax compliance". Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization. 22 (3): 285–303. doi:10.1016/0167-2681(93)90003-8.
  6. ^ Kennett, Patricia (2008). Governance, globalization and public policy. Edward Elgar Publishing. p. 56. ISBN 978-1845424367
  7. ^ Vincent Ostrom; Elinor Ostrom (2003). "Public Goods and Public Choices" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 May 2005.
  8. ^ Oates, Wallace E. (May 2006), On the Theory and Practice of Fiscal Decentralization (PDF), Lexington, KY: Institute for Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations, archived from the original (PDF) on 1 December 2008
  9. ^ Taxpayers’ Choice Debt Reduction Act
  10. ^ Opt Out of Iraq War Act of 2007
  11. ^ Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is Act
  12. ^ Kasperowicz, Pete, "Rep. Campbell proposes tax form change to encourage donations to the government". The Hill", 18 April 2011.
  13. ^ Ellen DeGeneres, Mario Lopez (4 May 2016). What Ellen DeGeneres Would Do If She Were President. Extra. Archived from the original on 10 May 2016.

Further readingEdit