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May 17, 2012

In honor of C. Lowell Harriss

     The C. Lowell Harriss Dissertation Fellowship recipients for 2012-2013 have been named, continuing to honor the late Columbia University economist who served for decades on the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy’s board of directors.
     Through its longstanding graduate student dissertation fellowships, the Lincoln Institute assists Ph.D students, primarily at U.S. universities but also worldwide. This program supports scholars early in their careers, and covers topics ranging from the property tax to watershed protection, through the Department of Taxation and Valuation and the Department of Planning and Urban Form.  The C. Lowell Harriss Dissertation Fellows for 2012-2013 are:
     Timothy R. Hodge, Michigan State University, “Not All Property Taxes Are Created Equal: Tax Base Erosion and Inequities Resulting from Assessment Practices, Assessment Growth Limits, and Tax Abatements”; Kirsten L. Kinzer, University of Pennsylvania, “The Role of Public Participation in the Implementation of Local Government Sustainability; Nicholas J. Marantz, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, “Statutory Development Agreements: The Cause and Consequences of a Regulatory Innovation”; David J. Munroe, Columbia University, “Essays on Tax Policy in Real-Estate Markets”;  Michael P. Paparesta, Florida International University, “Understanding the Impact of the Property Tax Appeal Process on Assessment Uniformity: Procedures, Structures, and Outcomes” ; Timothy J. Schwuchow, Duke University, “Essays on the Microfoundations of Prices in Housing Markets”; Danielle L. Spurlock, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, “Planning for Water Quality: The Implementation of Watershed Protection Policies”; and James Z. Wang, University of Michigan, “County Amenities and Tax Rates: Determinants of Industrial Location Choice”
     Harriss, who died in 2010 at 97, authored a dozen books and several hundred articles on land and tax policy. A native of Nebraska, he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard in 1934, and joined the economics faculty at Columbia University four years later. He simultaneously worked on his doctorate in the discipline, which he earned from Columbia in 1940.
     In an obituary appearing in The Boston Globe, the economist Ben Stein is quoted on how Harriss was well known for his “total availability to students in his office, at dinner, for a hamburger after class, to explain and comment on the economic events of the day. I never had a better teacher in any school.’’
     Well regarded by colleagues and fellow board members, Harriss provided a fresh perspective on such topics as land value taxation, and was well-known for mailing around clipped New Yorker cartoons on a range of subjects. He was a board member of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy from 1974 until 2009.

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