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Whitney Afonso

Associate Professor of Public Administration and Government

Whitney Afonso joined the School of Government in 2012. She was named Albert and Gladys Hall Coates Distinguished Term Assistant Professor for 2015–2017. Prior to that time, she taught at the University of Georgia, Department of Public Administration and Policy; and Texas A&M University's Bush School of Government and Public Administration. Her research into how the choice of revenue streams by state and local governments affects government and citizen behavior has been presented at the annual conferences for the National Tax Association, Association for Budgeting and Financial Management, American Society for Public Administration, and the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management. In October 2016, she was recognized by Public Budgeting & Finance with its Jesse Burkhead Award. Her article, “Leviathan or Flypaper: Earmarked Local Sales Taxes for Transportation,” was selected as the journal’s top article in 2015. Afonso earned a BA in political science from Vanderbilt University, and an MA in economics and PhD in public administration and policy from the University of Georgia.


Selected Publications

“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.



Curriculum vitae (pdf, 488.37 KB)
Fields of Expertise
County and Municipal Finance
Income Taxes (Non-Legal)
Local Sales Taxes (Non-Legal)
Public Administration
Revenue Forecasting
Tax Policy
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