UNT Ph.D. student named recipient of prestigious C. Lowell Harriss Dissertation Fellowship

Jingran Sun, a doctoral candidate in the University of North Texas College of Health and Public Service’s Department of Public Administration, has earned a coveted C. Lowell Harriss Dissertation Fellowship from the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. The fellowship assists Ph.D. students whose research “complements the institute’s interests in land and tax policy.”

“I am extremely thrilled and honored to receive this award,” Sun said. “Receiving this fellowship makes me realize that the mentoring and training I have received at UNT is as good as or better than what I could have received at an Ivy League university. I am more confident in my research capabilities as a junior scholar.”

Sun will use the funds to research property tax exemptions which tend to be an under-investigated area.

“Jingran’s dissertation examines how tax exempt property affects other taxpayers in a city, how it affects a city’s budget allocations and how it affects other revenues that support that budget,” said Robert Bland, Endowed Professor of Local Government. “This prestigious award from the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy is affirmation of Jingran’s research capabilities and potential as a public finance scholar.”

Sun says some of the funding will support his travel to conferences where he will present his research. The remainder will be used to complete his dissertation titled, “The Effects of Property Tax Exemptions on Municipal Budgets: An Assessment of the Impact on Revenue Volatility, Dependence on Property Taxes and Expenditure Choices.”

“My goal is to deliver a dissertation that is both theoretically and methodologically sound, one that the researchers at the Lincoln Institute will find informative, valuable and worthy of this grant,” Sun said. “Ultimately, I’d like to provide policy recommendations to local government officials and politicians about the true effects that property tax exemptions have on local governments’ revenue volatility, revenue structure and expenditure choices.”