Do Property Taxes Affect Real Operating Decisions and Market Prices for Crude Oil?
45 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2012 Last revised: 14 May 2014
Date Written: October 4, 2013
This study investigates the effect of property taxes on real business decisions. Consistent with tax avoidance, we posit that personal property tax rates are associated with decreases (increases) in inventory prior to (following) assessment dates. We empirically test this prediction using both United States and Canadian monthly crude oil inventory data. We find that in locations where raw materials inventory is subject to taxation, total and refinery-level crude oil inventories are reduced prior to assessment dates and increased in the following period, when compared to locations with no (or lower) tax rates. The results provide empirical evidence that property taxes play a role in the operating decisions of firms. We also examine the pricing implications of these tax driven changes in crude oil inventory and find that the market seemingly adjusts crude oil prices around assessment dates demonstrating that the market acts as if it understands these changes in crude oil inventory are not simply due to supply/demand effects.
Keywords: non-income taxes, real activities management, property taxes, crude oil, inventory
JEL Classification: H25, H71, M48, M49
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation