sealPurdue News

October 21, 2002

Ag economist named distinguished Extension specialist

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A Purdue University professor who has spent years interpreting the impact of Indiana's state budgets and taxes on Hoosier citizens received the 2002 Eric G. Sharvelle Distinguished Extension Specialist Award.

Larry DeBoer, professor of agricultural economics, was described as "one of Indiana's foremost experts on state tax and budget issues," according to David Petritz, Purdue Extension director, who announced the honor on Tuesday (10/15). The award was presented at the annual Extension conference on Purdue's West Lafayette campus.

DeBoer, who works with the Indiana Legislative Services Agency in researching and drafting bills for the Indiana General Assembly, created tools for analyzing the state's tax structure.

"His computer model for calculating the impact of property taxes was run literally hundreds of times during the last legislative session, providing vital information during the tax restructuring debate," Petritz said.

In 1997, Gov. Frank O'Bannon formed the Citizens Commission on Taxation. As research director for the group, DeBoer wrote much of its policy and final commission report. The commission helped initiate many of the ideas eventually adopted in Indiana's 2002 tax restructuring.

Other issues studied by DeBoer include the effects of riverboat gaming, the state lottery, cigarette tax increases and the motor vehicle excise tax.

"Despite the controversial nature of many of the issues he studies, DeBoer has a reputation for unbiased, non-partisan analysis," Petritz said.

To share his tax expertise with the public, DeBoer created a local government Web site with information on tax issues, the state budget and other topics.

DeBoer also provides an overview of the nation's economy as part of an annual series of outlook meetings held around the state by the Department of Agricultural Economics. He forecasts economic growth, inflation, unemployment and interest rates for the coming year.

DeBoer joined the Purdue faculty in 1984. He holds a bachelor's degree from Earlham College in Richmond, Ind., and master's and doctoral degrees from Syracuse University.

The Sharvelle Award is given each year in memory of Eric G. Sharvelle, a Purdue professor of botany and plant pathology from 1946 to 1975. The award was established in 1985 by Dr. Derek and Sybil Sharvelle of Battle Ground, Ind.

CONTACT: David Petritz, (765) 494-8489.

Writer: Beth Forbes, (765) 494-2722;

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes,;

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: Publication-quality photographs of the Extension award winners are available at

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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