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Tackling wealth accumulation in a context of social upheaval: the property tax in Chile

2023

In this paper, we ask whether progressive reforms are possible in conditions of right-wing politics and elite opposition. We study the scope of a tax reform in the context of wealth concentration, socio-spatial segregation, political conflict and the elite’s antipathy toward taxation using spatial analysis and interviews with wealthy taxpayers and key actors. Findings show that reform was possible at a critical juncture where increased demands from social movements and opposition parties for redistribution pushed the government to change the tax bill to signal commitment to higher progressivity and equality despite the elite opposition.

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