Whitney Afonso

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Whitney Afonso is an assistant professor at the School of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research interests include state and local tax policy and citizen engagement through the budgeting process. Whitney’s research has appeared or is forthcoming in scholarly publications such as Public Budgeting and Finance, Public Finance Review, Contemporary Economic Policy, and State and Local Government Review.

Publications & Appearances

The Challenge of Transparency in Taxation

While the federal government has taken the lead in implementing efforts toward greater transparency—for example, by creating the easy-to-access website Recovery.gov to enable visitors to track the spending of stimulus money —state and local governments are following suit by providing more online information about how they spend taxes. Proponents of increased transparency in the public sector, including elected officials and citizens, believe that transparency is an important tool for holding governments accountable and reducing corruption. In a period when trust in government has hit a record low (24 percent in 2014 and a record low of 19 percent in 2013), increased transparency is viewed as a way of promoting trust and cooperation between government and its citizens.