Good Jobs First Blog
My colleagues were digging into the state of economic development subsides in Ohio – as we here at Good Jobs First do – when they came across Cincinnati resident Michelle Dillingham. She's part of a group working hard to reign in tax abatements that divert significant pools of money from schools.
Transparency is a cornerstone of economic development, allowing the public to know where funds are being invested, what companies benefit from tax breaks, and if they do the good things corporate leaders and elected officials say they will. That’s why we were so cheered to see Franklin County, Ohio's new website that lifts the veil of secrecy that so often shrouds economic development subsidies.
$450 million to Centene Corp. $845 million to Apple. $8.1 BILLION to a tech park. It makes no sense: politicians just keep giving away the store, oblivious to economic realities. Why? Because they inhabit a rigged system that strips them of their ability to act as rational market participants.
On June 15, the United States and the European Union announced an agreement to finally solve their decades-long dispute over subsidies given to Boeing and Airbus. This was followed by a parallel agreement with the United Kingdom on June 17, since the UK is part of the Airbus consortium, but has exited the European Union.
While hundreds of millions of dollars are lost each year to incentives, 61 of the 81 public school districts in South Carolina remain underfunded. At an average salary of $50,395 in 2019, the $423 foregone revenue could have hired 8,394 teachers. Several poor districts could close their funding gap simply if the counties stopped abating schools' taxes.