We examine the effect of state corporate income tax rate changes on firms’ liquidity management. Using a difference-in-differences design, we find that firms hold more cash when they are experiencing an increase in state corporate income tax rate. More specifically, on average, a 1 percent increase in state corporate income tax rate leads to a 2.51 percent increase in firms’ average cash holdings. We also find that the effect is stronger in firms with low and risky cash flows, more growth opportunities, and more financial constraints. We find no evidence of this relationship when the state corporate income tax rate decreases. Overall, these findings suggest that firms conserve more cash to mitigate tax-induced frictions, which is consistent with the precautionary motive of cash holdings. Our paper speaks to policymakers that the increase of state income tax rate has real effects on firms’ cash holdings.

Data Availability: All data used in this study are from publicly available sources.

JEL Classifications: H25; H710; M41; G33.

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