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The Fight for Local ControlSchools, Suburbs, and American Democracy$
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Campbell F. Scribner

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501700804

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501700804.001.0001

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Tax Revolts

Tax Revolts

(p.117) 6 Tax Revolts
The Fight for Local Control

Campbell F. Scribner

Cornell University Press

This chapter looks at the tax revolt of the late 1970s, in which states imposed statutory or constitutional restrictions on property taxes, leaving lasting scars on municipal budgets, particularly those of school districts. For most states, tax and expenditure limitation offered the most effective solution, promising the lower taxes that conservatives demanded and the greater reliance on state aid that liberals had long advocated. Unfortunately, like most political compromises, tax limitation agreements did not always play out according to expectations. Nominal increases to state funding, for instance, failed to achieve the sort of equalization that liberals envisioned. On the other hand, tax limitation failed to curb teachers' salaries to the degree that conservatives had hoped.

Keywords:   tax revolt, municipal budgets, tax limitation, expenditure limitation, property taxes, state aid, state funding

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