Minnesota Publications

by Thomas Cafcas and Greg LeRoy
Published: December, 2016

States and localities have given retail juggernaut Amazon almost a quarter-billion dollars in economic development subsidies in the past two years for warehouses the company must build to fulfill the rapid-delivery service tied to its Amazon Prime business model. 

Full report

Press release

update blog: Amazon's 100,000-Job Claim: Will Taxpayers Bankroll Retail Job Churn?

Amazon Tracker: Counting Subsidies to Amazon

BP and Its Brethren: Identifying the Largest Violators of Environmental, Health and Safety Laws in the United States

by Philip Mattera
Published: October, 2015

This report analyzes the data assembled in Violation Tracker, a new database on corporate misconduct created by the Corporate Research Project of Good Jobs First.

full report

press release

Violation Tracker database

In Search of A Level Playing Field: What Leaders of Small Business Organizations Think About Economic Development Incentives

by Carolyn Fryberger et al.
Published: September, 2015

A national survey of leaders of small business organizations reveals that they overwhelmingly believe that state economic development incentives favor big businesses, that states are overspending on large individual deals, and that state incentive programs are not effectively meeting the needs of small businesses seeking to grow. 

full report

press release

Work for All the Crafts: Restoring the Union Depot in St. Paul

by Greg LeRoy and Thomas Cafcas
Published: June, 2014

Thirteen Building Trades crafts got work when the stimulus-backed TIGER program helped restore the Union Depot in St. Paul. And the resulting redevelopment around the Depot and along the new Green Line between the Twin Cities' downtowns will create billions of dollars' more work for years to come.

press release

full report

States Featured:

Show Us the Subsidized Jobs: An Evaluation of State Government Online Disclosure of Economic Development Subsidy Awards and Outcomes

by Philip Mattera, Thomas Cafcas, Leigh McIlvaine, Kasia Tarczynska, Elizabeth Bird and Greg LeRoy
Published: January, 2014

More states than ever are disclosing company-specific information on economic development subsidies, but the quality of the transparency is highly uneven.

Press release
Full report
Executive summary
Table of links to state disclosure websites
State appendices with scoring details

Bosses for Buses: U.S. Employers Supporting Public Transit

by Greg LeRoy, Thomas Cafcas, Leigh McIlvaine, Kasia Tarczynska and Philip Mattera
Published: May, 2013

American employers are organizing and winning better public transportation in many metro areas. Major employers such as universities and hospitals and coalitions of businesses help explain why state and local ballot initiatives for transit consistently win more than 70 percent of the time.

 Yet at the national level, there is not a unified corporate voice for transit; this has been especially evident during three recent federal debates that affected this vital public service. Instead, there are disparate voices speaking only to selected aspects of transit

full report

press release

by Peter Fisher, with a preface by Greg LeRoy
Published: May, 2013

Prominent studies that purport to measure and rank the states’ “business climates” are actually politicized grab-bags of data. They contradict each other wildly, have no predictive value, and should not be used to inform public policies. This is only the third such analysis of pseudo-social science “business climatology” in 27 years.

by Philip Mattera, Thomas Cafcas, Leigh McIlvaine, Andrew Seifter and Kasia Tarczynska
Published: January, 2012

This companion report to our Money for Something and Show Us the Subsidies studies evaulates state subsidy programs on their use of clawbacks and other penalties in enforcing job-creation, job quality and other performance standards.Press release. Executive summary. Full report with appendices. Full report without appendices. Appendices.

by Greg LeRoy with nine contributors
Published: December, 2011

Based on two community-labor “boot camps,” this first-ever manual features inspirational stories of creative grassroots campaign victories. Plus links to strategic resources and a national directory of rider groups. Press release.

by Philip Mattera, Thomas Cafcas, Leigh McIlvaine, Andrew Seifter and Kasia Tarczynska
Published: December, 2011

This follow-up to our Show Us the Subsidies report evaluates state subsidy programs on their job-creation and other performance requirements as well as their job quality (wage and benefit) standards. Press Release. Full Report. Executive Summary. Appendices.

by Greg LeRoy
Published: February, 2008

This article, published in Planning and Environmental Law, a journal of the American Planning Association, examines the nation's most controversial kind of economic development subsidy: tax increment financing. It includes a segment on the notorious TIF dispute currently taking place in New Mexico, where radical TIF deregulation threatens to undermine funding for state and local public services.

by Rachel Weber and David Santacroce
Published: March, 2007

Chicago and Washington -- Local governments can write more effective contracts to improve the odds that companies receiving economic development incentives keep their promises to create good jobs and other community benefits - or pay taxpayers back.

by Greg LeRoy and Karla Water
Published: December, 2006

Economic development incentives that were originally intended to help revitalize older areas are instead being used by outlying suburbs to pirate jobs and tax revenues from older cities in the Twin Cities metro area. Local officials need a cooperative structure to curtail zero-sum job piracy and focus instead on jointly promoting the region. And the state should use incentive deals as leverage to make more jobs transit-accessible and alleviate traffic congestion.

States Featured:
by Anne Nolan and Greg LeRoy
Published: October, 2003

A review of events since Minnesota enacted its first-in-the-nation economic development accountability law in 1995 finds that the law is a major factor contributing to an increase in civic engagement in economic development issues.

States Featured:
by Alyssa Talanker and Kate Davis
Published: August, 2003

This report examines legislative changes to two geographically targeted economic development programs: tax increment financing (TIF) and enterprise zones. It asks the question: Have laws governing these programs been weakened to permit the use of these programs in non-blighted or affluent areas? In virtually every state that has weakened its TIF or enterprise zone program, the answer is "Yes."

by Kate Davis
Published: January, 2003

This report, released in conjunction with the National Education Association, examines the impact of property tax based subsidies on school revenues and the role that school boards have in the economic development process.

States Featured:
by Sara Hinkley and Fiona Hsu
Published: September, 2000

A comprehensive summary and database of 122 state performance audits of economic development programs of the last decade.

by Greg LeRoy and Sara Hinkley
Published: January, 2000

A case study of a fringe-suburban industrial park that used tax increment financing to lure 29 companies, relocating 1,600 jobs mostly away from the urban core. Includes impact analyses based on race, poverty, welfare and transit access.

States Featured:
by Greg LeRoy and Tyson Slocum
Published: February, 1999

An analysis of 525 economic development deals made possible by Minnesota's first-in-the-nation subsidy disclosure law, which found almost half the subsidized companies paying 20% or more below-market wages.

States Featured:
by Greg LeRoy

No More Candy Store is the original compilation of grassroots remedies for corporate welfare abuse -- remedies like money-back guarantee "clawbacks," requirements that subsidized companies pay fair wages and benefits, rules for full disclosure, environmental protection and "anti-piracy" safeguards against "paying Peter to rob Paul" with taxpayers money. Verbatim passages from all of the nation's best state and local laws and contracts, ready-made for activists, legislators and anyone seeking to make economic development subsidies accountable.