Some unsurprising but nonetheless interesting observations on the fair tax initiative

After the referendum vote on November 28, most attention was concentrated on the highly controversial deportation initiative, which pushed the fair tax initiative out of the spotlight, all the more so that the latter was soundly rejected.

Here are a few figures showing that, unsurprisingly, the fair tax initiative received less public approval where tax rates are lower. The first graph compares cantons on the basis of the tax rate (canton plus capital city) for a taxable income of CHF 200,000 per year:

The relationship is fairly strong, but it varies interestingly if we look at tax rates for different income categories. Points are regression coefficients (that is, the slope of the regression line in the previous graph), while bars show 95% confidence intervals:

Finally, a similar relation is found for municipalities in the canton of Zurich:

Nothing unexpected here, and obviously one cannot easily infer individual behavior from aggregate data, but the figures give some idea of the extent to which cost-benefit considerations may have impacted voting decisions in this case. If you have any thoughts, please do leave them in the comments.

2 thoughts on “Some unsurprising but nonetheless interesting observations on the fair tax initiative

  1. is that correct,that those with the highest incomes have rejected the initiative with the highest probability (fig 2)? that whould not be really surprising, but how do you support “Finally, a similar relation is found for municipalities in the canton of Zurich:” as the communes with the highest incomes rejected with the highest rates, but sternenberg accepted?

    • The label of the x-axis in the second graph is maybe misleading: the figure shows the correlation between support for the initiative and tax rates for different income groups, not income itself. So each dot corresponds to the slope of the line in the first graph.

      Similarly, the x-axis in the third graph is the municipal tax multiplicator, not income. Average income is likely lower in municipalities with lower multiplicators, so the figure is intuitively plausible.

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