Enhanced Subsidy Tracker Database Offers New Insights into Washington State Job Subsidy Spending

20/12/2015

For Immediate Release December 21, 2015

Contact: Philip Mattera: pmattera@goodjobsfirst.org; 202-232-1616 ext.212

Washington, DC—Good Jobs First is pleased to announce that Washington State taxpayers can now find five additional years of economic development subsidy data in GJF’s Subsidy Tracker database.

An additional 4,700 subsidy deals from Washington state alone have been added. Access to the database is free and unrestricted at http://www.goodjobsfirst.org/subsidy-tracker

Subsidy Tracker’s proprietary parent-subsidiary matching algorithms link subsidiary records to their ultimate corporate parents, giving users a more complete view of which companies are actually benefiting from enormous tax breaks offered in Washington. Further, the database enables users to see subsidies a company may have received in other states as well.

“New Subsidy Tracker enhancements allow for a fuller picture of which companies benefit most from lucrative corporate tax breaks,” said Good Jobs First Research Director Philip Mattera, who heads the work on Subsidy Tracker. “By overcoming clunky government websites and matching subsidiaries to parents, we make subsidy data user-friendly for journalists, non-profits, academics, concerned citizens, and policy-makers.”

Where available, Subsidy Tracker now includes data from FY 2010 to 2014 for Washington state including subsidies to industries including aerospace, agriculture, biotech, high technology, newspapers, semiconductors, green energy, and timber.

“The fight for transparency in Washington isn’t over,” said Thomas Cafcas, GJF’s Seattle-based research analyst. “The recent controversy between the Seattle Times and the Department of Revenue on Boeing’s tax breaks shows there’s more data out there ready for our database. We hope today’s updates will convince Olympia officials to pull the curtain back all the way.”

Today’s enhancements to Subsidy Tracker mean that the database now covers 302,000 state and local subsidy awards (from 604 state and local programs) and 178,000 federal awards (from 138 federal programs). That’s a total of 480,000 awards from 742 programs. Robust parent-subsidiary relationships have been established for some 2,036 companies.

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