Good Jobs First Subsidy News
The world's biggest, richest companies waltz into towns across the country asking for tax breaks for new projects, but they fail to reveal their true identity until the deal is done. They demand millions in tax breaks, threatening to go elsewhere if their projects are denied. It's a bad trend and costly for residents, who lose billions of dollars in revenue that could otherwise be put back into their communities.
Setting aside for a moment the debate over whether Ohio's economic development subsidies achieve their stated goals – among them job creation or getting companies to open where they otherwise wouldn’t – the question becomes whether the group most impacted by the revenue loss should have full control over its portion or even veto harmful deals. We think the answer is "yes."
Greg LeRoy, executive director of Good Jobs First, told the Orlando Sentinel the incentives were "worse than a zero-sum game. We call this interstate job fraud. At the end of the day, you've also got less revenue available for public services."
According to the latest update by the NY State Comptroller, there are 109 IDAs overseeing over 4,000 projects that exempt almost $800 million in taxes, and that’s after accounting for PILOTs. As property taxes make up the lion’s share of educational revenues, abatements can seriously hurt school districts.
Why, then, do NY’s school boards seem so passive about chunks of revenues getting carved out of their budgets every year to pay for corporate tax breaks?
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has tried for years to expand the state's corporate subsidy offerings, only to see lawmakers cut the funds from final spending plans. But as the influx of federal pandemic money flowed into the state, Justice saw an opportunity.
The result: a $30 million "deal-closing fund" that has no strings or rules over how the money is spent.