Property Tax Collection of Sonora Municipalities: Does Border Location Make any Difference?
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© 2015 Association for Borderlands Studies.Article 115 of the Mexican Constitution was modified to grant Mexican municipalities prerogatives in order to improve their financial position through own-source revenue collection. This reform made it possible for the municipalities in the same state to face a different institutional fiscal framework without contradicting the corresponding legal framework. This paper relates the institutional framework and the municipal geographic location to property tax collection. Mexican northern border municipalities have experienced higher economic and demographic growth compared with non-border municipalities. This has resulted in a higher demand for public services and infrastructure. In the face of this pressure, and given that they are allowed to modify their institutional framework, the central hypothesis in this article is to test whether the border effect helps to explain the differences in property tax revenue across municipalities, and if that effect results in higher property tax collection. These hypotheses are analyzed for the municipalities of the Mexican state of Sonora. We estimate a number of econometric specifications using a panel of annual data (2000¿2005) for the 72 municipalities of Sonora. We find evidence that both institutional differences, and the identification of the northern border municipalities of Sonora help to explain variations in revenue from property tax.