August 2010 Posts

Aug
31
2010

Misrepresenting Small Business

That's the title of Stacy Mitchell's terrific new op-ed in Business Week, subtitled “The two groups that have traditionally spoken for small business often push an agenda that only big business could love.” Citing recent legislative debates, she calls out the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)

Aug
5
2010

Right questions, wrong decisions on subsidies for big firms in NYC

[caption id="attachment_1338" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Deloitte has an office in the city's municipal building on the same floor as the City Comptroller"][/caption]

At the New York City Industrial Development Agency’s public hearing last week, two proposals generated notable controversy: one to bestow millions in tax breaks on Big Four accounting firm Deloitte LLP, and another to revive a subsidy agreement from 1998, still worth millions in unused credits, for information services giant Thomson Reuters. This past Tuesday, the IDA board approved both projects, but not before a handful of board members engaged in a robust dialogue with IDA staffers, especially on the Thomson Reuters proposal.

The Deloitte proposal could have benefited from an even more vigorous discussion. For one thing, it smells like the same old game in which companies pit states and regions against each other in bidding wars for investment. As an IDA staffer explained, the agency “took seriously” a “threat” that Deloitte would leave the city for “other opportunities,” namely New Jersey. (Deloitte LLP plans to use the subsidy to help pay for moving its headquarters from one highly prized Manhattan office location—midtown—to another—Lower Manhattan.) And yet IDA staff also reassured the board that the proposal wasn’t about retention, but about growth. As EDC President Seth Pinsky stated, Deloitte will get no benefits until it increases its employment numbers within NYC.

Aug
1
2010

Recovery Act Job Reporting Problems Persist

The fourth round of Recovery Act recipient data (covering the second quarter of 2010) has just been