Urban Center analyst Seth Payton wins Mike Curro Award

October 19, 2004

Seth Payton, policy analyst at the Center for Urban Policy and the Environment and Ph.D. student at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, has been awarded the 2004 Mike Curro Best Student Paper Award by the Association for Budgeting and Financial Management (ABFM). The Mike Curro Award honors the best public budgeting or financial management graduate student paper from among those nominated by faculty members at the annual ABFM conference each year.

Payton’s paper, "The Property Tax, Its Incidence, and Related Issues: A Case Study of Indianapolis, Indiana," was cited as an excellent example of student work at a very high level.

Payton analyzed the complexities of local government finance and the strengths and weaknesses of the property tax as the primary revenue source for local governments. The study investigates the effect of property taxes and public service quality on housing values in Indianapolis. Payton’s analysis found that, in principle, the property tax is a good revenue source for local governments. However, the structure of the property tax base changes over time, and those changes influence the effectiveness and equity of its administration, creating benefits for some at a cost to others. Those benefits and costs are reflected in housing prices of homes in Indianapolis.

For the award, Payton received a plaque and $400. His paper was presented as part of the student panel during the ABFM’s 2004 Conference in Chicago in October. He was nominated for the award by John Mikesell, Professor of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, Bloomington.

Payton’s paper is being adapted into an issue brief that will be published by the Center for Urban Policy and the Environment. The Center for Urban Policy and the Environment is a non-partisan applied research organization in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI. Center faculty and staff work with state and local governments, businesses, and community organizations on issues that affect economic development and the quality of life in communities.