Tax Policy Center



James R. Nunns

Senior Fellow

The study of public finance, and specifically tax policy, provides analytical tools and institutional insights that can be used to improve economic efficiency and fairness among households. It is the hope of such improvements that initially drew me to public finance, and that continues to motivate my work.

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James Nunns is a senior fellow in the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center at the Urban Institute, where he focuses on federal tax reform; value-added and other broad-based consumption taxes; distributional analysis; and the development of data, models, and methodologies for tax analysis.

Before joining Urban, Nunns held several senior-level positions, including as tax policy director for the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department (2007–10); director for Individual Taxation in the Office of Tax Analysis of the US Department of the Treasury (1986–2007); director of the Tax Research and Statistics Office of the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department (1982–86); and financial economist in the Office of Tax Analysis of the US Treasury (1974–82).

Nunns is currently president of the National Tax Association, which awarded him the Bruce Davie-Albert Davis Public Service Award in 2009. He received a number of citations and awards during his career at the US Treasury, including the Exceptional Service Award (2007), the Meritorious Service Award (1982), and the Office of the Secretary Honor Award (1981, 2006).

Nunns received his PhD in economics from Purdue University, where his dissertation received an Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation “Honorable Mention” Award from the National Tax Association.

From TaxVox