Corporate Taxation and Firm Location in Germany
German Fiscal Federalism is characterized by a high degree of fiscal equalization which lowers the efficiency of local tax administration. Currently, a reform of the fiscal equalization scheme is on the political agenda. One option is to grant federal states the right to raise surtaxes on statutory tax rates set by the central government in order to reduce the equalization rate. In such an environment, especially those federal states with lower economic performance would have to raise comparatively high surtaxes. With capital mobility, this could further lower economic performance and thus tax revenues. Although statutory tax rates are so far identical across German federal states, corporate tax burden differs for several reasons. This paper tries to identify the impact of such differences on firm location. As can be shown, effective corporate taxation did seemingly not have a significant impact on firm location across German federal states.
Grant Dependence, Regulation and the Effects of Formula-based Grant Systems on German Local Governments: A Data Report for Saxony-Anhalt
IWH Discussion Papers,
Recent empirical studies have found – seemingly − efficiency-enhancing effects of vertical grants on local public service provision. The main purpose of this paper is to prepare an elaborate theoretical and empirical analysis of these contradictory results. Therefore, it investigates if certain fiscal and institutional conditions (fiscal stress, fiscal rank-preserving vertical grant systems, input- and output regulation), that might help to explain these empirical findings, are characteristic of at least some parts of the local government sector or certain regions. The German state of Saxony-Anhalt is chosen for case study purposes. The main results are: First, the local governments suffer from severe fiscal problems such as high grant dependency, low tax revenues and the prevalent inability to finance investments by own resources. Second, the output- and input-regulation density of certain mandatory municipal services (schools, childcare facilities, fire protection) is high. Finally, the most important vertical grant category for local governments, the formula-based grants (“Schlüsselzuweisungen”), can be described as mainly exogenous, unconditional block grants that in most cases preserve the relative fiscal position of the grant recipients.
Im Fokus: Wie fördern Bund und Länder die Energieeffizienz im Gebäudebestand?
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
Als Ergänzung eines zunehmend rigider werdenden Ordnungsrechtes, welches die Mindestanforderungen festlegt, existiert auf der Ebene von Bund und Ländern ein breites Angebot von Förderprogrammen für die Sanierung energetisch relevanter Gebäudeteile. Der Bund fördert in diesem Zusammenhang energetisch hochwertige Sanierungsinvestitionen, welche über den Mindeststandard des Ordnungsrechtes hinausgehen. Während die Förderprogramme auf der Bundesebene – abgesehen von der Berücksichtigung unterschiedlicher Finanzierungsmodelle – für alle Investoren sowie für Gebäude, die älter als 15 Jahre sind, bundesweit die gleichen Rahmenbedingungen anlegen, zeigen die Bundesländer eine differenziertere Ausgestaltung ihrer Förderpolitik, die spezifische Faktoren der regionalen Wohnungsmärkte berücksichtigt. Eine Analyse der Wirkung dieser Förderlandschaft auf die regionale Sanierungsaktivität wird Thema weiterer Forschungen sein.
Shadow Budgets, Fiscal Illusion and Municipal Spending: The Case of Germany
The paper investigates the existence of fiscal illusion in German municipalities with special focus on the revenues from local public enterprises. These shadow budgets tend to increase the misperception of municipal tax prices and seem to have been neglected in the literature. Therefore, an aggregated expenditure function has been estimated for all German independent cities applying an “integrated budget” approach, which means
that revenues and expenditures of the core budget and the local public enterprises are combined to one single municipal budget. The estimation results suggest that a higher relative share of local public enterprise revenues might increase total per capita spending as well as spending for non-obligatory municipal goods and services. Empirical evidence for other sources of fiscal illusion is mixed but some indications for debt illusion, renter illusion or the flypaper effect could be found.
Local Taxes and Capital Structure Choice
International Tax and Public Finance,
This paper investigates the question of taxation and capital structure choice in Germany. Germany represents an excellent case study for investigating the question of whether and to what extent taxes influence the debt-equity decision of firms, because the relative tax burdens on debt and equity vary greatly across communities. German communities levy local taxes on profits and long-term debt payments in addition to personal and corporate taxes on the federal level. A stylized model is presented incorporating these taxes. The model shows that local taxes create substantial incentives for firms to use debt financing. Furthermore, the paper empirically investigates the effect of local business taxes on the share of debt used to finance incremental investments by German firms. I find that local taxes significantly influence the capital structure choice of firms, controlling for a large number of other factors. In an extensive sensitivity analysis the tax effect are found to be robust across several different specifications.