Year of Publication

2022

College

Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Degree Name

Master of Public Financial Management

Committee Chair

Dr. Iuliia Shybalkina

Executive Summary

The primary objective of this research project is to identify the main uses of the sunset provision as it relates to the local tax code. This research project utilizes a case study approach to collect and analyze sunset tax legislation from five municipalities. Capital project funding is found to be the primary use of taxes with a sunset provision. Other uses associated with sunset taxation include transportation infrastructure, capital funding, bond financing, and public safety. Through the analysis process for this research project, five best practices were developed to guide municipalities who engage in sunset taxation with respect to their local taxing authority: 1) sunsetting taxes are not short-term solutions to long-term needs, 2) expressly identify and define the purpose of the sunset tax revenues, 3) align the source of sunsetting tax revenue with those who benefit, 4) establish a citizen committee to hold the government accountable for its use of sunset tax(es); and 5) ensure transparency is maintained throughout the life of the sunset tax(es).

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