In 2015, hundreds of transparency advocates (mostly organized by us, we later admitted) scored a huge victory with the adoption of a new accounting rule that requires state and local governments to report how much revenue they lose to economic development tax abatements. But as promising as this milestone is, there remain significant deficiencies: compliance is uneven, and the intended data is too often missing or misleadingly reported. Here's how we can improve it.
Good Jobs First just named a global “2021 Top Corporate Watchdog”… Ford subsidies in Tennessee could easily top $1 billion… and just how exactly are states spending $350 billion in pandemic relief meant for working families and small businesses?
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.