Research Bulletin (Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station)


If a single grain of sand were tossed on either side of an evenly loaded balance, the displacement could be attributed to the weight of the last particle. Unfortunately among the maze of factors which must be analyzed fully to explain the problem of land use adjustment in Ringgold County, Iowa, the specific influence of the tax burden cannot be so precisely segregated.

The tax burden is but one of that particular group of forces characterized as fixed costs, i.e. taxes, interest, maintenance and depreciation, making for constant pressure for income on the land. On the basis of mortgages examined, taxes almost equalled in amount the interest charges on mortgaged farms. In past years interest charges have been much higher than taxes. No present examination can reveal the influence of past tax burdens apart from the influence of other fixed costs. Taxes have been a part of a group of economic factors contributing to soil exploitation in the area, and heavy fixed costs were not the sole elements at work. The tenure system, the type of farming and the attitude of the people toward the land, all have had a role to play.



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