A land tax assessed according to a general survey and valuation, how equal soever it may be at first, must, in the course of a very moderate period of time, become unequal. To prevent its becoming so would require the continual and painful attention of government to all the variations in the state and produce of every different farm in the country...an attention so unsuitable to the nature of government, that it is not likely to be of long continuance, and which, if it is continued, will probably, in the long-run, occasion much more trouble and vexation than it can possibly bring relief to the contributors.
~ Adam Smith in An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, (1776) Book V, Chapter II, Part II, p. 899. (Paragraph V.2.55 of online version)
Research Interests: State and local public finance, especially property tax-related issues such as assessment and zoning. My interest in the benefit-view of property taxation also leads me to study other institutional features of local government, as well as public good provision/management. Spatial econometrics is my pet empirical approach. My research is featured in outlets like the National Tax Journal, Land Economics, Journal of Environmental Economics & Management, Public Finance Review, Southern Economic Journal, Public Budgeting & Finance, Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory, State Tax Notes, Contemporary Economic Policy, Journal of Housing Economics, Public Finance & Management and the Journal of Real Estate and Finance Economics.
"The Public Financing of America's Largest Cities: A Study of City Financial Records in the Wake of the Great Recession." Ross, Justin M., Wenli Yan, and Craig Johnson. Forthcoming at Journal of Regional Science.
"State Revenue Forecasts and Political Acceptance: The Value of Consensus Forecasting in the Budget Process." Mikesell, John L. and Justin M. Ross. Forthcoming at Public Administration Review.
"Fiscal Illusion from Property Reassessment? An Empirical Test of the Residual View." (2013). Justin M. Ross and Wenli Yan. National Tax Journal 66(1): 7-32.
"A Socioeconomic Analysis of Property Assessment Uniformity: Empirical Evidence on the Role of Policy." (2013). Justin M. Ross. Public Budgeting & Finance 33(1): 49-75.
"Frictions in Polycentric Administration with Non-Congruent Borders: Evidence from Ohio School District Class Sizes" (2013). Justin M. Ross, Joshua C. Hall, and William Resh. Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory; doi: 10.1093/jopart/mus90
"Are Community-Nuisance Fiscal Zoning Arrangements Undermined by State Property Tax Reforms? Evidence from Nuclear Power Plants and School Finance Equalization." (2013). Justin M. Ross. Land Economics 89(3): 449-65.
"School District Income Taxes: New Revenue or a Property Tax Substitute?" (2013). Justin M. Ross and Phuong H. Nguyen. Public Budgeting & Finance 33(2): 19-40.
"Strategic Tax Planning for State Tax Amnesties: Evidence from Eligibility Period Restrictions." (2013). Justin M. Ross and Neal W. Buckwalter. Public Finance Review 41(3): 275-301.
"Fast Money? The Contribution of State Tax Amnesties to Public Revenue Systems." John L. Mikesell and Justin M. Ross. (2012). National Tax Journal 65(3): 529-62.
"Interjurisdictional Determinants of Property Assessment Regressivity." Justin M. Ross. Land Economics (February 2012), Vol. 88, Issue 1: 28-42.
"Local Government Property Tax Amnesty Programs: Structures and Themes." Justin M. Ross. (2012.) Public Finance and Management 12(2): 146-173.
"Revealed Preference for Relative Status: Evidence from the Housing Market." Susane J. Leguizamon and Justin Ross. (2012). Journal of Housing Economics 21: 55-65.
"Robustness and Vulnerability of Community Irrigation Systems: The Case of the Taos Valley Acequias." Michael E. Cox and Justin M. Ross. (2011). Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 61(3): 254-66.
"Assessor Incentives and Property Assessment." Ross, J.M. (2011). Southern Economic Journal 77(3): 776-94.
"Inconsistency in Welfare Inferences from Distance Variables in Hedonic Regressions." Ross, J.M., Michael Farmer, and Cliff Lipscomb. (2011). Journal of Real Estate and Finance Economics 43 (3): 385-400. FAQ's.
Competition, Yardstick Competition, and Tax
Instrument Choice: Evidence from Ohio School Districts." Joshua C. Hall and Justin M.
Ross. (2010). Public Finance Review 38(6): 710-37.
"Does State Spending on Mental Health Lower Suicide Rates?" Justin M. Ross, Pavel Yakovlev, and Fatima Carson. (2012). Journal of Socio-Economics. 41(4): 408-417.
"Do Surveys of Experts Provide Unbiased Judgments? Evidence from College Football Rankings" Justin M. Ross, Sarah Larson, and Chad Wall. (2012). Contemporary Economic Policy 50(4): 502-522.
"New Empirical Estimates of Rent-Seeking: An Update of Sobel and Garrett ." (2009). Joshua C. Hall and
Justin M. Ross. Journal of Public Finance and Public Choice 27(2-3): 125-136.
"What Should Policy Makers Know When Economists Say "Market" Failure?" Ross, J.M. (2009). Georgetown Public Policy Review, 14(1), pp. 27-32.
"A Theoretical Model of the Distribution of Teacher Attention Under Benchmark Testing." Ross, J.M. (2008). Economics Bulletin 9(29), pp. 1-8.
“Income Tax Responsiveness of the Rich: Evidence from Free Agent MLB All-Stars.”** Ross, J.M. and Robert Dunn. (2007). Contemporary Economic Policy 25(4), pp. 639-48. Ungated Version. DATA
"Indiana's Property Tax Caps: Old Idea, New Approach, and Surprising Incentives." Ross, Justin M. and Madeline Dinges.
"Tilting at Windmills: Evidence on 'Beggar Thy Neighbor' Fiscal Zoning Among Local Governments." with Sanya Carley
"The Labor Incidence of Capital Taxation: New Empirical Evidence from the Retail Sales Taxation of Manufacturing Machinery and Equipment." with John Mikesell.
"State Tax Amnesty: How a Standard Feature of American State Tax Administration Has Changed Over Thirty Years." Mikesell, John L. and Justin M. Ross. (2013). State Tax Notes 67(7): 481-95.
"Local Government Lessons from Amnesty Programs for Property Tax Delinquents." Justin M. Ross. Forthcoming in Government Finance Review.
"Amnesty for Property Tax Delinquents?" Justin M. Ross. State Tax Notes 68(12): 919-28.
"Controversies in Property Assessment." Justin M. Ross and Denvil R. Duncan. Forthcoming in Papers and Proceedings of the 105th Annual Conference on Taxation.
"Property Taxes and Polycentricity." Ross, Justin M. and Daniel Hummel. (2012). In The Annual Proceedings of the Wealth and Well-Being of Nations Volume IV 2011-2012, edited by Emily Chamlee-Wright.
"`Will You Stop That Infernal Racket!?!' Externalities and The Simpsons." In Homer Economicus: The Simpsons and Economics. Edited by Joshua C. Hall, forthcoming (Stanford University Press).
"When It Comes to Taxes: Focus on Being Competitive." Ross, J.M. and J.C. Hall. Chapter 5 in Unleashing Capitalism: Why Prosperity Stops at the West Virginia Border and How to Fix It, edited by Russell Sobel, 2007.
"Getting It Right: Where University Systems Lose Information in Designing Programs." Ross, J.M. In Doing More With Less: Making Colleges Work Better. Edited by Joshua C. Hall. Springer (2010).
"Managing the Internal Organization of Colleges and Universities." M. Holian and J.M. Ross. In Doing More With Less: Making Colleges Work Better. Edited by Joshua C. Hall. Springer (2010).
"U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development." J.C. Hall and J.M. Ross in Booms and Busts: An Economics Encyclopedia, Mehmet Odekon (ed), M.E. Sharpe, forthcoming.
"When It Comes to Taxes in South Carolina: Focus on Being Competitive." Ross, J.M., Joshua C. Hall, Peter T. Calcagno. Chapter 4 in Unleashing Capitalism: A Prescription for Economic Prosperity in South Carolina, edited by Peter T. Cacagno, (2009).
"A Primer on State and Local Tax Policy: Trade-Offs Among Tax Instruments." (2014). Published by the Mercatus Center.
"Fiscal Analysis for Lake County, Indiana." Justin M. Ross and Madeline Dinges.
"Property Tax Amnesty." by Justin M. Ross (June 26, 2012). Policy opinion memo prepared for the state legislature of Ohio.
"The Elective Zoning Proposal." By Justin M. Ross (February 2, 2012). Policy opinion memo prepared for Bonner County (Idaho) government.
"The Business Case for Product Philanthropy." Justin Ross and Kellie McGiverin-Bohan. Published by Good360.
"Book Review: Audretsch, David B., Flack, Oliver, & Heblich, Stephan (Eds.) (2009). Innovation and Entrepreneurship." Ross, J.M. (2009). The Review of Regional Studies. 39(2): 227-237.
"Counterpoint: Risk: Loss of Local Control." Ross, J.M. Sunday Indianapolis Star, October 10, 2010.
"Good Intentions Lead to Flawed Outcomes."Ross, J.M. and Fatima Carson. Indianapolis Star, December 7, 2008.
"Friedman Still Right." Ross, J.M. Indiana Daily Student, October 16, 2008.
"Does America Need A Third Stimulus Bill?" Ross, J.M. Connect @ SPEA, September 15, 2009.