Anthony Levitas

Senior Fellow in International and Public Affairs, Director, Undergraduate Public Policy Concentration
111 Thayer Street, Room 219
Research Interests Children & Families, Education, Political Economy, State & Municipal Policy, Urban Policies & Politics
Areas of Interest Intergovernmental fiscal relations, education finance and governments, post-communist Europe, 'decentralization'


For thirty years, Tony has provided analytical and political advice on local government reform to elected officials and civil servants in post-communist Europe. Most generally, he helps policymakers decide what responsibilities sub-national governments should have and where they should get the money to pay for them. More particularly, he helps design predictable and equitable transfer systems and draft the laws and regulations that govern local taxation, budgeting, investment planning, financial reporting, and sub-sovereign debt. He has also worked extensively on school finance and governance. Tony played important roles in major local government reform programs in Poland, Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania and most recently Ukraine. He currently directs the Watson’s Institute Undergraduate Program in Public Policy, runs its Senior Thesis Seminar and teaches courses on intergovernmental fiscal relations, education finance and governance and the history of the American Tax State.


I am working on book-length history of American intergovernmental fiscal relations. The book argues that the struggle over slavery and state’s rights has left us with an inverted, archaic, fragmented and increasingly dysfunctional system of subnational finance: In much of Europe, national governments are financed by Value Added Taxes (VAT) and corporate income taxes (VAT/CIT) while subnational governments are financed by sectoral block grants and Personal Income Taxes (PIT). We, however, finance the national government with PIT and CIT, state governments by sales taxes, and local governments by property taxes and rat’s nest of highly specific categorical grants. I am also working with United Way of Rhode Island and a coalition of local NGOs to “Map the Financing and Provision of Family and Youth Services in RI” while continuing to support the government of Ukraine in its efforts to restructure the country’s system of subnational finance and governance.


How Should Ukraine Share Personal Income Tax with Local Governments, Support to Decentralization Program SKL/SIDA, June 2021, pp 1-27 (under review: Revista de Economía Pública Local - Journal of Local Public Economics)

Personal Income Taxation and Local Government Finance: Note for the Local Government Committee of the Ukrainian Parliament, Support to Decentralization Program SKL/SIDA, Sept. 2020, pg. 1-4

On the Legal Classification of Local Government Functions, Support to Decentralization Program SKL/SIDA, May 2020 pp. 1-9

The Social Sector Responsibilities of Local Governments in South-East Europe  (with Elton Stafa) Network of Associations of Local Authorities of South East Europe (NALAS) (Skopje) November 2020. pp. 1-25

Early Childhood Education at the Intersection of Albanian Municipal Finance and Governance, (with Elton Stafa) USAID/Tetra Tech, November 2019, pp. 1-48

Subnational Governance Reform and Local Government Finance in Ukraine 2014-2018, (with Jasmina Djikic) Support to Decentralization Program SKL/SIDA, Oct, 2018, pp 1-43

All Available on


  • IAPA 0400 -Fiscal Plumbing 101: The American Tax State in Historical and Comparative Perspective
  • IAPA 1850 -- Senior Thesis Seminar Public Policy
  • Education Finance and Governance in Comparative Perspective

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Anthony Levitas in The Wilson Center's Kennan Institute, "The fact that Ukraine's constitution does not yet reflect the reality of governance throughout the country is troubling."
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