Kirk J. Stark

Barrall Family Professor of Tax Law and Policy

  • B.S.F.S. Georgetown, 1989
  • J.D. Yale, 1994
  • UCLA Law faculty since 1996

Kirk Stark is the Barrall Family Professor of Tax Law and Policy.  He teaches Federal Income Taxation, Taxation & Distributive Justice, State and Local Taxation, and the first-year Property course. In addition, he regularly serves as faculty coordinator of the UCLA Colloquium on Tax Policy & Public Finance, an interdisciplinary workshop designed to explore leading research on taxation. Professor Stark was elected Professor of the Year by the law school graduating classes of 1999, 2002, and 2009. He received the University Distinguished Teaching Award in 2003 and the Law School's Rutter Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2008.

Professor Stark’s research focuses on taxation and public finance, with an emphasis on state and local tax policy and U.S. fiscal federalism. His work has examined fiscal disparities among the states, the federal government’s role in state tax reform, and the question of how best to allocate fiscal responsibilities among federal, state and local governments.  In addition, Stark is the author of War and Taxes (with Steve Bank and Joe Thorndike), a political history of U.S. tax policy during wartime, as well as two leading casebooks, Federal Income Taxation (with Joseph Bankman and Daniel Shaviro) and State and Local Taxation (with Walter Hellerstein, John Swain and Joan Youngman).

Professor Stark regularly testifies on state and local tax policy before the California state legislature and has also served on the Board of Directors of the National Tax Association, a nonpartisan organization founded in 1907 to promote the study of tax policy and public finance. In 2008, he was a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, and he served as Vice Dean for Faculty Development at UCLA School of Law from 2010-2013.


  • Books
    • Selected Sections Federal Income Tax Code and Regulations, 2020-2021 (with Steven A. Bank). Foundation Press (2020).
    • Selected Sections Corporate and Partnership Income Tax Code and Regulations, 2020-2021 (with Steven A. Bank). Foundation Press (2020).
    • Federal Income Taxation (with Joseph Bankman, Daniel Shaviro and Edward Kleinbard). 18th ed. Aspen Legal Publishers (2019).
    • State and Local Taxation (with Walter Hellerstein, John Swain and Joan Youngman). West Publishers (2014).
    • War and Taxes (with Steven A. Bank and Joseph J. Thorndike). Full Text
    • Business Tax Stories (edited by Kirk J. Stark and Steven A. Bank). Foundation Press (2005).
  • Articles And Chapters
    • Wayfair in Constitutional Perspective: Who Sets the Ground Rules of U.S. Fiscal Federalism?, 71 National Tax Journal 221 (2021).
    • The Power not to Tax, 69 American University Law Review 565 (2019).
    • Regional Taxation in State Tax Reform, 58 Washington University Journal of Law & Policy 117 (2019).
    • Upward Mobility and State-Level EITCs: Evaluating California's Earned Income Tax Credit (with Kim S. Rueben and Frank Sammartino), 70 Tax law Review 477 (2017).
    • Tax Policy and the (Dying?) American Dream, 70 Tax Law Review 409 (2017).
    • Reforming Proposition 13 to Tax Land More and Buildings Less, California Policy Options 2016 159 (2016). Full text
    • The Role of Expressive Versus Instrumental Preferences in U.S. Attitudes Toward Taxation and Redistribution, in Philosophical Explorations of Justice and Taxation, 167 (edited by Helmut P. Gaisbauer, Gottfried Schweiger, and Clemens Sedmak, IUS Gentium, 2015). Chapter Link | Full Text
    • The Operation of Tax Limitation Initiatives in the Face of Conflicting Voter Preferences for Tax and Spending Levels, 67 Tax Law Review 543 (2014).
    • Tax Reform and the American Middle Class (with Eric Zolt), 40 Pepperdine Law Review 1209 (2013). Full Text
    • Too Good to be True? How State Charitable Tax Credits Could Increase Federal Funding for California (with Phillip Blackman), California Policy Options (2013). Reprinted as Capturing Federal Dollars with State Charitable Tax Credits, 139 Tax Notes 53 (2013). Full Text
    • Beyond Bailouts: Federal Tools for Preventing State Budget Crises (with Brian Galle), 87 Indiana Law Journal 599 (2012). Full Text
    • Houdini Tax Reform: Can California Escape its Fiscal Straitjacket?, California Policy Options (2011).
    • Rich States, Poor States: Assessing the Design and Effect of a U.S. Fiscal Equalization Regime, 63 Tax Law Review 957 (2010). Full Text
    • The Federal Role in State Tax Reform, 30 Virginia Tax Review 407 (2010). Full Text
    • Proposition 13 as Fiscal Federalism Reform, in Proposition 13 at 30: The Political and Fiscal Impacts, (edited by ack Citrin and Isaac Martin, Berkeley Public Policy Press, Institute of Governmental Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 2009).
    • State Tax Shelters and U.S. Fiscal Federalism, 26 Virginia Tax Review 789 (2007). Full Text
    • Taxation Over Time, 59 Tax Law Review 1-64 (2006). Full Text
    • Should California Adopt an Earned Income Tax Credit?, California Policy Options (2006). E-Scholarship | Full Text
    • What Do We Know About the Interstate Economic Effects of State Tax Incentives? (with Daniel J. Wilson), 4 Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy 133-64 (2005). Full Text
    • Enslaving the Beachcomber: Some Thoughts on the Liberty Objections to Endowment Taxation, 28 Canadian Journal of Law & Jurisprudence 47-68 (2005). Full Text
    • Fiscal Federalism and Tax Progressivity: Should the Federal Income Tax Encourage State and Local Redistribution?, 51 UCLA Law Review 1389-1435 (2004). Full Text
    • Is Capitalization the Achilles’ Heel of School Choice?,, 31 State Tax Notes 751 (2004). Full Text
    • The Uneasy Case for Extending the Sales Tax to Services, 30 Florida State University Law Review 435-65 (2003). Full Text
    • Tiebout & Tax Revolts: Did Serrano Really Cause Proposition 13? (with Jonathan Zasloff), 50 UCLA Law Review 801-58 (2003). Full Text
    • Compaq v. Commissioner – Where is the Tax Arbitrage? (with William A. Klein), 12 Tax Notes International 1353-59 (2002). Abstract
    • The Right to Vote on Taxes, 96 Northwestern University Law Review 191 (2001). Full Text
    • The Quiet Revolution in U.S. Subnational Corporate Income Taxation, 55 Bulletin for International Fiscal Documentation 523-31 (2001). Abstract
    • The Unfulfilled Tax Legacy of Robert H. Jackson, 54 Tax Law Review 171-259 (2001). Abstract
    • United States Partnership Taxation: Current Structure and Proposals for Reform, 54 Bulletin for International Fiscal Documentation 326 (2000).
    • State and Local Government Taxation, in Encyclopedia of the American Constitution, 2nd ed. (edited by Leonard W. Levy, Kenneth L. Karst, Macmillan, 2000).
    • The Elusive Transition to a Tax Transition Policy, 13 American Journal of Tax Policy 145-87 (1996).
    • City Welfare: Views From Theory, History, and Practice, 27 Urban Lawyer 495-529 (1995).
    • Letting States Sell Their Right to Issue Tax-Exempt Bonds, 61 Tax Notes 1619 (1993).
    • Rethinking Statewide Taxation of Nonresidential Property for Public Schools, 102 Yale Law Journal 805-34 (1992).
  • Other
    • Caveat IRS: Problems With Abandoning the Full Deduction Rule (with Joseph Bankman, David Gamage, Jacob Goldin, Daniel J. Hemel, Darien Shanske, Dennis J. Ventry, Jr., and Manoj Viswanathan), 159 Tax Notes 807 (2018).
    • State Responses to Federal Tax Reform: Charitable Tax Credits (with Joseph Bankman, David Gamage, Jacob Goldin, Daniel Hemel, Darian Shanske, Dennis J. Ventry, Jr., and Manoj Viswanathan), 159 Tax Notes 641 (2018).
    • Book Review, 67 National Tax Journal 459 (2014). Reviewing Tax Fairness and Folk Justice, by Steven Sheffrin (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2013).
    • What's Old Is New Again: Historical Perspectives on Tax Law & Policy (with Steven A. Bank and Joseph Thorndike), 109 Tax Notes 529-30 (2005).
    • Commentary, Smart Tax Laws Would Put More Money in California’s Pocket, L.A. Times (Dec. 3, 2003).