We estimate how tax subsidies to owner-occupied housing are distributed spatially across the United States and find striking skewness. At the state level, the mean tax benefit per owned unit in 1990 ranged from $917 in South Dakota to $10,718 in Hawaii. The dispersion is slightly greater when benefit flows are measured at the metropolitan-area level. Even assuming the subsidies are funded in an income progressivity-neutral manner, a relatively few metro areas, primarily in California and the New York–Boston corridor, are shown to gain considerably while the vast majority of areas have relatively small gains or losses.
The Spatial Distribution of Housing-Related Tax Benefits in the United States. with Joseph Gyourko, Brookings Institution Discussion_paper, July 2001. (PDF)