New York Publications

by Kasia Tarczynska
Published: March, 2017

More than half of the nation’s 50 biggest cities and counties still fail to disclose online even the names of the companies receiving property tax abatements or other costly economic development incentives.

full report

press release

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

Shortchanging Small Business: How Big Businesses Dominate State Economic Development Incentives

by Greg LeRoy, Carolyn Fryberger, Kasia Tarczynska, Thomas Cafcas, Elizabeth Bird and Philip Mattera
Published: October, 2015

Governors and state legislators routinely praise small businesses for their contributions to economic growth and job creation, but states actually give big businesses the dominant share of their economic development incentive awards.

press release

full report

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

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.

The Job-Creation Shell Game: Ending the Wasteful Practice of Subsidizing Companies that Move Jobs from One State to Another

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

This study describes how state and local governments waste billions of dollars each year on economic development subsidies given to companies for moving existing jobs from one state to another rather. It also looks at how the existence of relocation subsidies emboldens some large companies to demand large job blackmail subsidies to stay put. The report offers policy recommendations to address the problem.

full report

press release

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 Philip Mattera, Leigh McIlvaine, Thomas Cafcas and Greg LeRoy
Published: March, 2011

Eliminating or reducing ineffective corporate subsidy programs can make a significant contribution to the efforts of state governments to address budget deficits. This report profiles ten poorly performing programs that would make good targets. Full report. Press release.

by Bettina Damiani and Elizabeth Bird
Published: March, 2011

This report by Good Jobs New York analyzes transparency and accountability issues relating to New York City's Recovery Zone Facility Bond deals.

States Featured:
by Fiscal Policy Institute, Good Jobs New York and the National Employment Law Project
Published: February, 2011

This policy brief outlines the mix of tools the New York City Industrial Development Agency uses to subsidize economic development—including financial assistance, tax breaks, capital improvements, and the sale or lease of City‐owned land—and provides an estimate of the quality of jobs created or retained by three significant subsidized projects.

States Featured:
by Bettina Damiani and Allison Lack
Published: February, 2009

Good Jobs New York documents local taxpayer subsidies to six firms, and their role in the Temporary Assets Relief Program or TARP - American International Group, Bank of America, Bear Stearns, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and Merrill Lynch. It finds that the deals have been plagued by porous contracts that lack accountability, very poor public disclosure and job losses. The report offers common sense transparency solutions.

States Featured:
by Allison Lirish Dean and Bettina Damiani
Published: January, 2009

Perhaps the most obscure aspect of the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is how it seeks to expand bond programs for public infrastructure and private economic development projects. A report released today by Good Jobs New York explains how the Recovery Act's new and expanded bond programs are facilitating economic recovery and where opportunities exist for public input.

States Featured:
by Philip Mattera with Leigh McIlvaine
Published: November, 2008

In this report Good Jobs First reveals that retailers in 26 states are being allowed to "skim" more than $1 billion a year as compensation for collecting sales taxes on behalf of state and local governments. The biggest impact is felt in the 13 of those states that put no ceiling on the amount of compensation any given retail company can receive, thus giving a windfall to the likes of Wal-Mart. Press release

by Philip Mattera, Allison Lack and Karla Walter
Published: August, 2007

Good Jobs First has found that General Growth Properties, the country's second largest owner and operator of shopping malls, has drained more than $200 million in revenues from local governments around the country. This is the main finding of a study of economic development subsidies received by GGP as well as the company's frequent challenges to its property tax assessments.

by Bettina Damiani, Eileen Markey and Dan Steinberg
Published: July, 2007

A deftly assembled lineup of former elected and appointed officials were employed by the Yankees organization to help push through a new baseball stadium even though the project won't benefit taxpayers or community members, claims Insider Baseball: How Current and Former Public Officials Pitched a Community Shutout for the New York Yankees, a new report by Good Jobs New York.

States Featured:
by Dan Steinberg and Sarah Stecker
Published: June, 2007

The world's largest financial services firm rarely makes a move without getting taxpayers to help foot the bill, a new report suggests. Citigroup uses threats of moving facilities and jobs elsewhere to repeatedly play state against state and locality against locality and attract millions of dollars in subsidies. Over the past 18 years this practice has won Citigroup over $226 million from New York and New Jersey governments, sometimes for moving jobs from one state to the other.

States Featured:
by Allison Lack
Published: May, 2007

Buffalo - Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs) in the Buffalo/Niagara metro area are subsidizing job creation and investment, but not in areas that most need them. In Erie County, wealthy suburbs - especially those with their own IDAs' contain disproportionate shares of IDA-granted property tax exemptions, fueling regional sprawl. State law that regulates IDAs could be amended to ensure that IDA tax breaks don't undermine regional growth plans and support jobs and investment where they are most needed.

States Featured:
by Bettina Damiani and Dan Steinberg
Published: February, 2006

This report by Good Jobs New York reveals that taxpayers will pay a far higher price for a new Yankee Stadium than public officials and team executives have let on.  Direct and indirect subsidies could exceed $480 million and a city-sponsored analysis suggests the new stadium would not generate enough revenue to cover its cost to taxpayers. The report also argues that subsidizing this stadium is a costly and inefficient strategy for creating jobs. Finally, the South Bronx community that would be most impacted by the project has been excluded from the planning process.

States Featured:
by Stephanie Greenwood and Bettina Damiani
Published: August, 2004

Federal monies for the post-9/11 reconstruction of Lower Manhattan are skewed towards big business and high-income neighborhoods, our investigation finds. Community priorities such as affordable housing, job creation, and local transportation are being ignored. Probing the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) -- the entity formed to distribute Federal cash aid -- we found an agency that lacks transparency and has given numerous grants to companies with ties to LMDC board members.

They're in the Money; We're in the Dark is the most recent in Good Jobs New York's "Reconstruction Watch" series that evaluates the allocation of Federal economic development resources in the aftermath of the attacks on the World Trade Center. Previous reports and updates on allocations are available at www.goodjobsny.org

States Featured:
by Philip Mattera and Anna Purinton
Published: May, 2004

In this extensively researched study, we show that the giant retailer has received more than $1 billion in economic development subsidies from state and local governments across the country. Taxpayers have helped finance not only Wal-Mart stores, but also the company's huge network of distribution centers, more than 90 percent of which have gotten subsidies. The report also includes policy proposals, including a prohibition on subsidies to big-box retailers except in distressed areas that are underserved by retail outlets (and in those cases the recipient of the subsidy should be required to pay a living wage).

Note: Updated information on this subject can be found on our Wal-Mart Subsidy Watch website.

by Stephanie Greenwood and Bettina Damiani
Published: January, 2004

Corporate retention deals negotiated by New York City in the 1990s failed to create jobs, despite their multimillion-dollar price tags, our investigation finds. Analyzing contracts never disclosed before between large firms and NYC, the report highlights thirteen outrageous deals. Some actually allowed companies to lay off as many as 20 percent of their employees with no penalty. Finally, the report highlights problems with the public reporting on these deals, citing differences between internal city documents and a mandated annual report. Following the release of this report, the NYC Industrial Development Agency announced several improvements to its decision-making process and to the corporate retention program as a whole. For further details please visitn www.goodjobsny.org.   

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 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

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.