Good Jobs First Blog
by Jeremy Moses
Over the past few years, controversy around tax increment financing in St. Louis has been increasingly prominent in local politics. In the mayoral race earlier this year, each candidate put forward his or her own proposal for reform, in response to a growing consensus that incentives are
by Jennifer Morgan
Tracking how states provide incentives for economic development sometimes can be as simple as searching their online reporting platform. Localities, however, often make it difficult to find information on their subsidy recipients. They either require this data be accessed through an open records request, which is burdensome, or they bounce the request from department to department, and eventually decline to disclose.
It’s common for governors to stage publicity events to announce major job-creating investments in their state. This allows them to take implicit credit for a project that was probably helped along with tax breaks and other financial giveaways. When it came to the Taiwanese company Foxconn’s plan to build a $10 billion flat-screen plant in Wisconsin, the hype was taken to a new level.
For the first time ever, local and state governments are just beginning to report how much revenue they lose to economic development tax breaks. We here at Good Jobs First can only describe the corporate welfare price-tag data so far as one hot mess.
Some local governments' reports are user-friendly,