Image of Whitney Afonso

Whitney Afonso

Professor of Public Administration and Government

Whitney Afonso is a professor of public administration and government at the School of Government. Her research focuses on state and local public finance with an emphasis on local sales taxes. Afonso won the Burkhead Award for best manuscript published in Public Budgeting and Finance in 2015 and the Curro Award for best student paper in 2010. She also has served on the executive committee of the Association for Budgeting and Financial Management since 2018.

In addition to her traditional research and teaching, her position at UNC engages her with elected officials and practitioners within the state. Afonso serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Public Administration Research and TheoryPublic Budgeting & Finance; and State and Local Government Review. She also serves as an executive committee member for the Association for Budgeting & Financial Management. Afonso is the liaison for the North Carolina Local Government Budget Association.

She received her bachelor's degree from Vanderbilt University, completed a master's program at Texas A&M University, and received her Ph.D. from the University of Georgia.

Selected Publications

Afonso, Whitney B., 2019. “The Barriers Created by Complexity: A State-by-State Analysis of Local Sales Tax Laws in Light of the Wayfair Ruling,” National Tax Journal, National Tax Association; National Tax Journal, vol. 72(4), pages 777-800, December.

Afonso, W.B. (2019), “The Impact of the Amazon Tax on Local Sales Tax Revenue in Urban and Rural Jurisdictions.” Public Budgeting & Finance, 39: 68-90.

Spreen TL, Afonso W, Gerrish E. “Can Employee Training Influence Local Fiscal Outcomes?” The American Review of Public Administration. 2020;50(4-5):401-414.

Nelson, K.L. and Afonso, W.B. (2019), “Ethics by Design: The Impact of Form of Government on Municipal Corruption.” Public Admin Review, 79: 591-600.

“Citizens Engaging Government: The Case of Participatory Budgeting in Greensboro” 2017. Public Administration Quarterly 41(1): 7-42.

“Time to Adoption of Local Option Sales Taxes: An Examination of Texas Municipalities.” 2016. Public Finance Review. DOI: 10.1177/1091142116673147

“The Effect of Connecticut’s Income Tax Adoption on Migration.” 2016. Journal of Public Policy.

“The Equity of Local Sales Tax Distributions in Urban, Suburban, Rural, and Tourism-Rich Counties in North Carolina.” 2016. Public Finance Review 44(6): 691-721.

“Leviathan or Flypaper: Earmarked Local Sales Taxes for Transportation.” 2015. Public Budgeting & Finance 35(3): 1-23.[1]

“State Income Taxes and Military Service Members’ Legal Residency Choices.” 2015. Contemporary Economic Policy 33(2): 334-350.

“Fiscal Illusion in State and Local Finances: A Hindrance to Transparency.” 2014. State and Local Government Review 46(3): 219-228.

“Local Sales Taxes as a Means of Increasing Revenues and Reducing Property Tax Burdens: An Analysis Using Propensity Score Matching.” 2014. Public Budgeting & Finance 34(2): 24-43.



Whitney Afonso CV (pdf, 407.81 KB)
Fields of Expertise
County and Municipal Finance
Income Taxes (Non-Legal)
Local Sales Taxes (Non-Legal)
Public Administration
Revenue Forecasting
Tax Policy
This list consists of courses, e-learning modules and webinars which are associated with this profile. Use the filter provided to aid in your search.
Results: {{}}
This list consists of books, book chapters, bulletins, and reports which are associated with this profile. Use the filter provided to aid in your search.
Results: {{node.publications.length}}
This list consists of blogs, blog posts, FAQ collections, legal summaries, listservs, microsites, pages and tools which are associated with this profile.
Results: {{node.resources.length}}