This report, produced by the George Washington Institute of Public Policy, focuses on the incidence of the property tax and its significance in funding state and local government services. The purpose of the study is to help policy makers, researchers, and others interested in local government finance to better understanding the role of the property tax. An overview of the historical and current role of the property tax as an important source of revenue, including a discussion of trends, demonstrates how entrenched the property tax is, and explains the circumstances and conditions that contribute to the current property tax environment. The second section of the report outlines
the strengths and weaknesses of the property tax today, while the subsequent section addresses the prevailing views and current debates among public finance analysts. The final section describes the variation in use of the property tax, and how the political process gave rise to much of that variation.