Revealing the True Costs of Tax Incentives: Eight Critical Improvements Needed for GASB Statement No. 77

Christine Wen and Greg LeRoy
Date Published
10/2021

Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statement No. 77 on Tax Abatement Disclosures, a 2015 amendment to public-sector Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), requires GAAP-compliant U.S. state and local governments to report revenue lost to economic development tax abatements. Four years into the rule’s widespread adoption, compliance is uneven, and the resulting data is too often missing or misleadingly reported. In this white paper, we recommend eight actions by the GASB to improve compliance and generate more robust abatement disclosures from governments.

Update (11/1/2021): A passage is added on page 15 to include a suggestion for transition to machine-readable financial reporting. 

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