Tax policy decisions of states in competition for investments are regularly modelled in a very simplified way. However, complicated decisions, e.g., regarding the reform of corporate taxation in Germany, reveal that reality is different. In this project details of tax policy decision making will be analysed based on survey data of political actor’s tax perceptions. Included will be those tiers of government which actually have tax autonomy in Germany, i.e., federal and local level. From this we expect an innovative contribution which can contribute to a better understanding of political reality regarding tax setting.