Sample Economics Book Review Paper on The Property Tax: Its Role and Significance in Funding State and Local Government Services Washington

Article Review


            Everyone involved in the management of real property or ownership needs to have a deeper understanding of the property taxation system. It is the only way in which the property owners or managers can be in a position to understand how much they are required to pay. It is also the best way to avoid paying unnecessary additional costs in the name of taxation. The property assessment administration is responsible for assessing and administering the tax system in all property. The assessment is, therefore, important because the city, regional or county government can determine the amount of revenue they are making from real estate property.  It is because property tax is valued by the community because it is an important source of revenue. It is being used to finance government services like police, parks, public works, fire protection, public health, and schools. The values that have been appraised needs to be accurate for it to help in reducing the tax burden in the community[1]. It is also the best way in which property owners obtain confidence regarding the tax administration strategy used by the local government. It also gives them a chance to become aware of tax amount that they pay which reflects the value of their property. In an article titled, “Taxes on Real Property,” the author has provided a detailed analysis of the property tax administration and assessment which is analyzed below.

Summary of the article

            Property assessment administration may appear to be a technical and complex field, but it is important to determine the financial health of a particular county, state or local government. Property tax remains to be the major revenue source in Canada which the local government utilizes to exercise its control. Property tax was being implemented as early as 5,000 years ago, a period when temples and tombs owners were expected to pay taxes. In Europe, feudalism led to the widespread usage of property tax as early as 7th century. In 1601, Poor Law Relief Act was formed in England as a way to ensure that the local government was fair and efficient in regards to the ways in which they tax real estate and land owners[2]. However, over the years, there were various taxes which were imposed on real estate property from one colony to another. One thing that is notable is that property tax administration improved over the years with better systematic methods being used in Canada. The land value and construction costs on real estate property have been used since the twentieth century to determine how much tax to apply on a property.

            The local government is fully in control of real property as a way to minimize the tax burden in every state. There are two principles that the local government uses to apply tax on real property owners. The first is the principle of benefits whereby the tax applied is based on the finance property services offered by local governments such as fire protection, roads, sewer, and water[3]. The local property owners always benefit from these services directly hence they are required to pay for them. The second principle involves the taxpayers required to pay taxes based on their financial ability. The criteria being used for property taxation system include: accountability, neutrality, stable tax base, and fairness.


            The goals of this particular article have been perfectly met. The author has provided in a detailed way property tax assessment and administration. He has began by looking at the history of taxation and the theories that have been formulated regarding property taxation to enable the readers to have a clear understanding on the issue of property taxation. At the same time, by addressing the roles that the assessors play in real estate taxation, it enables property owners to understand the mode or method that is being used to apply tax on their properties. In most cases, the value of property is measured before the property assessment administrators formulate the right amount of tax to apply on it. The two principles of taxations that the author has discussed in the article is a perfect example to show that the Canadian government is fair when it comes to its taxation strategies.

            The author has used simple language throughout the article to explain the concept of taxation. On the other hand, the concepts are addressed in such a way that anyone who does not have an understanding on taxation can learn a lot from the article. Through this, the article becomes relevant for both beginner students and economists who already have a clear knowledge on taxation. For instance, when discussing the property tax incidence, the author began with a question and then an answer. According to the article, the person expected to pay the taxes is the owner[4]. However, she/he is in a position to transfer the payment to someone else like the individual building the properties or the tenants who are buying or using the property. One limitation of the article is that the author used less supporting evidence to prove his points. It means that majority of the knowledge are based on his personal thoughts on the issue of property taxation.

            In conclusion, it is important for property and real estate owners to understand the process of taxation especially property assessment administration. It is the best way in which they can determine the ways in which they are taxed. On the other hand, the assessment is essential for the local government who manages properties in an area. It is because properties are a great source of revenue for every region.


Brunori, David., Green, Richard., Bell, Michael & Choi, Chanyung. The Property Tax: Its Role and Significance in Funding State and Local Government Services. Washington: George Washington University, 2006.

UBC Real Estate Division. “Taxes on Real Property.” Sauder. Ubc. Ca. Last Modified 2009.

[1] David Brunori, Richard Green, Michael Bell & Chanyung Choi. The Property Tax: Its Role and Significance in Funding State and Local Government Services, (Washington: George Washington University, 2006), 156.

[2] UBC Real Estate Division,“Taxes on Real Property,” Sauder. Ubc. Ca, Last Modified 2009,

[3] UBC Real Estate Division,“Taxes on Real Property,” Sauder. Ubc. Ca, Last Modified 2009,

[4] UBC Real Estate Division,“Taxes on Real Property,” Sauder. Ubc. Ca, Last Modified 2009,