Megadeals: The Largest Economic Development Subsidy Packages Ever Awarded by State and Local Governments in the United States
by Philip Mattera and Kasia Tarczynska with Greg LeRoy
June 2013 (see update below)
In a painstaking review using hundreds of sources, Good Jobs First identifies 240 “megadeals,” or subsidy awards with a total state and local cost of $75 million or more each. The cumulative cost of these deals is more than $64 billion.
The megadeals list is a new enhancement of Good Jobs First’s Subsidy Tracker database, the first online compilation of company-specific data on economic development deals from around the country.
Until now, the content of Subsidy Tracker has consisted exclusively of official disclosure data provided by state and local governments. However, many large deals pre-dated disclosure and many recent ones are missing from the official lists because of gaps in state and local transparency practices. To overcome those constraints, Good Jobs First went back and assembled information on large deals using a wider variety of sources. The resulting list of megadeals has been incorporated into Subsidy Tracker and is summarized and analyzed in this report.
Update Note: This list, now totaling 363, contains numerous new deals that have come to light since the report was published, including the record $8.7 billion package granted to Boeing by the Washington State legislature in 2013. There are also some additional older deals worth a bit below $75 million (we have lowered our Megadeals threshold to $50 million). The spreadsheet omits a Royal Dutch Shell project in Louisiana that was cancelled after our June 2013 report was published.