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Faculty Member Whitney Afonso Selected for Top Publication Award

Whitney Afonso with Thomas Lauth

Faculty member Whitney Afonso has been 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.

In the article, Afonso states that analyses of the relationships of earmarked finances on their respective programs and total expenditures have produced conflicting views of how governments spend earmarked revenue. The article examines local sales taxes earmarked for transportation in California and analyzes whether the revenue generated by the sales taxes are used to increase expenditures for transportation projects or if they instead are used to supplement the general fund. The findings suggest that in the case of California transportation sales taxes, the revenue is used to increase transportation expenditures.

The award was presented at the Association for Budgeting and Financial Management Conference in Seattle, Washington, on October 7, 2016, by Thomas Lauth (shown with Afonso, left), president of Public Financial Publications inc. and dean emeritus of the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia.

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's 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 affect 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. 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.

 

Published October 10, 2016