Could Land-Only Taxation Save Local Government in Indiana?


  • Justin Ross Indiana University, Bloomington
  • Gyeoreh Lee Indiana University, Bloomington



public finance, Indiana, property taxes


This paper articulates a case for Indiana to exempt all non-land property from the taxable portion of the property tax base. This moves the state closer to a tax system that has great support among economists for its advantages in encouraging economic growth, progressivity, and reducing environmental damage from urban sprawl. Indiana might particularly benefit from a land only tax because of its unique system of property tax caps. The merits of this approach hinge on driving a wedge between gross assessed value and net taxable value. Future empirical research is needed to determine the distributional impact that would result from such a policy change.

Author Biographies

  • Justin Ross, Indiana University, Bloomington
    Associate Professor, School of Public & Environmental Affairs
  • Gyeoreh Lee, Indiana University, Bloomington
    Doctoral Candidate, School of Public & Environmental Affairs






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