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Faculty Member Whitney Afonso Publishes Article on Local Sales Tax

Whitney Afonso

Assistant Professor Whitney Afonso's article, "State LST Laws: A Comprehensive Analysis of the Laws Governing Local Sales Taxes," has been published in the top-ranked Public Budgeting and Finance journal.

Local sales taxes (LSTs) have received growing attention over the past decade, but a fundamental aspect of LSTs has remained largely unexplored: How do state laws governing LSTs differ from one another? The literature acknowledges that state laws vary widely, but leaves the discussion at that. This research seeks to fill that void by presenting a comprehensive set of state LST laws and creating a resource that will enable researchers to consider these differences in their analyses. State LST laws are framed within the lenses of jurisdictional eligibility and discretionary authority.

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 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. 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.