Issues in Income Tax Accountability: An Analysis of the Rental Housing Sector


  • Alex S. MacNevin



Many of the proponents of improved accountability in taxation support the view that tax changes can be meaningfully classified as either "tax policy" changes or "tax expenditure" changes. While echoing the call for improved accountability, the author questions the validity of maintaining this dichotomy as he undertakes a critical assessment of income tax changes in the rental housing sector between 1972 and 1992. In addition to discussing changes that directly impact the rental housing sector, the author includes measures that target closely related sectors, such as the construction sector. He concludes that the traditional dichotomy is neither feasible nor meaningful and calls for a more integrated framework. Such an integrated approach would ideally ensure that all potential ramifications of tax changes would be taken into account. This would, in turn, lay the groundwork for improved features that would comprise such an integrated framework by reference to analytical welfare economics.