Here at Good Jobs First, we get loads of questions about Tax Increment Financing, a widely used yet poorly understood economic development subsidy. How it works can sound complicated, yet the developers who champion it make it seem so simple – look at this free-lunch way to grow our local economy and create jobs! The reality in no way resembles that oft-repeated narrative. With that in mind, we tried to answer our most-asked TIF questions. While we were at it, we did one on Opportunity Zones too.
The poorer the students, the more likely they are to be part of a school district that loses significant amounts of money to corporate subsidies. That’s what Good Jobs First Research Analyst Christine Wen found when she looked more closely at the relationship between tax abatements and student populations.
In honor of Back-to-School season, let’s talk school funding and corporate subsidies, shall we?
What never takes a vacation? Big companies getting massive economic development subsidies! Plus: Meet a hard-charging community member looking to shake up things in Cincinnati. And what Franklin County, Ohio can teach us about government tax transparency.
We appreciate the opportunity to comment around how the Fiscal Recovery Funds can help ensure money is used for public goods and services that directly help our most economically vulnerable households. They, not corporations, should be the priority.
There is an opportunity now to close loopholes in the interim rules to ensure states, regional and local governments are adhering to the intent of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). We recommend the following:
A new accounting rule originally meant to shine greater light on how much corporations receive in government subsidies for jobs and development has been significantly watered down.
The final rule, expected to be issued soon and go into effect in 2022, won’t require most companies to reveal if they’ve received tax breaks, or what they promised in exchange for them. It's a blow to fiscal transparency and corporate accountability.