Financial Exposure: Rating the States on Economic Development Transparency
An evaluation of 250 major state-level economic development programs across all 50 states and the District of Columbia found that 154 of those programs—or 62%—disclose which companies receive public support, while 96 do not. But almost every state knows how to disclose and does so: 48 states plus the District of Columbia—or 96%—provide some degree of recipient disclosure. The gap reflects how inconsistent states are in reporting on all their major programs.
Federal Dollars, States’ Recoveries: How Poorly Most States are Disclosing CARES ACT Spending
Most states are failing to provide a full and complete picture of how they have been spending billions of dollars in assistance provided by Congress to help their residents recover from the financial burdens caused by COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, just six states do it well: Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Wyoming. Eight states and the District of Columbia fail to disclose any meaningful information online.
These are among the findings from a Good Jobs First review of the online disclosure practices of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, as they have spent a combined $111.8 billion from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF).
Update (1/4/2022): After this report was published, officials at the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC) brought to our attention that the Coronavirus Relief Fund spending data posted at on pandemicoversight.gov is cumulative, despite the columns being labeled for only the latest quarter. We had reached out to PRAC while writing the report to fact-check our findings, which included our observation that only the most recent quarter’s data was publicly showing, but PRAC did not respond.
States and localities have given retail juggernaut Amazon almost a quarter-billion dollars in economic development subsidies in the past two years for warehouses the company must build to fulfill the rapid-delivery service tied to its Amazon Prime business model.
BP and Its Brethren: Identifying the Largest Violators of Environmental, Health and Safety Laws in the United States
In Search of A Level Playing Field: What Leaders of Small Business Organizations Think About Economic Development Incentives
A national survey of leaders of small business organizations reveals that they overwhelmingly believe that state economic development incentives favor big businesses, that states are overspending on large individual deals, and that state incentive programs are not effectively meeting the needs of small businesses seeking to grow.
Work for All the Crafts: Restoring the Union Depot in St. Paul
Thirteen Building Trades crafts got work when the stimulus-backed TIGER program helped restore the Union Depot in St. Paul. And the resulting redevelopment around the Depot and along the new Green Line between the Twin Cities' downtowns will create billions of dollars' more work for years to come.
Show Us the Subsidized Jobs: An Evaluation of State Government Online Disclosure of Economic Development Subsidy Awards and Outcomes
Bosses for Buses: U.S. Employers Supporting Public Transit
American employers are organizing and winning better public transportation in many metro areas. Major employers such as universities and hospitals and coalitions of businesses help explain why state and local ballot initiatives for transit consistently win more than 70 percent of the time.
Yet at the national level, there is not a unified corporate voice for transit; this has been especially evident during three recent federal debates that affected this vital public service. Instead, there are disparate voices speaking only to selected aspects of transit
Prominent studies that purport to measure and rank the states’ “business climates” are actually politicized grab-bags of data. They contradict each other wildly, have no predictive value, and should not be used to inform public policies. This is only the third such analysis of pseudo-social science “business climatology” in 27 years.
This companion report to our Money for Something and Show Us the Subsidies studies evaulates state subsidy programs on their use of clawbacks and other penalties in enforcing job-creation, job quality and other performance standards.Press release. Executive summary. Full report with appendices. Full report without appendices. Appendices.
Based on two community-labor “boot camps,” this first-ever manual features inspirational stories of creative grassroots campaign victories. Plus links to strategic resources and a national directory of rider groups. Press release.
This article, published in Planning and Environmental Law, a journal of the American Planning Association, examines the nation's most controversial kind of economic development subsidy: tax increment financing. It includes a segment on the notorious TIF dispute currently taking place in New Mexico, where radical TIF deregulation threatens to undermine funding for state and local public services.
Chicago and Washington -- Local governments can write more effective contracts to improve the odds that companies receiving economic development incentives keep their promises to create good jobs and other community benefits - or pay taxpayers back.
Economic development incentives that were originally intended to help revitalize older areas are instead being used by outlying suburbs to pirate jobs and tax revenues from older cities in the Twin Cities metro area. Local officials need a cooperative structure to curtail zero-sum job piracy and focus instead on jointly promoting the region. And the state should use incentive deals as leverage to make more jobs transit-accessible and alleviate traffic congestion.
A review of events since Minnesota enacted its first-in-the-nation economic development accountability law in 1995 finds that the law is a major factor contributing to an increase in civic engagement in economic development issues.
This report examines legislative changes to two geographically targeted economic development programs: tax increment financing (TIF) and enterprise zones. It asks the question: Have laws governing these programs been weakened to permit the use of these programs in non-blighted or affluent areas? In virtually every state that has weakened its TIF or enterprise zone program, the answer is "Yes."
This report, released in conjunction with the National Education Association, examines the impact of property tax based subsidies on school revenues and the role that school boards have in the economic development process.
A comprehensive summary and database of 122 state performance audits of economic development programs of the last decade.
A case study of a fringe-suburban industrial park that used tax increment financing to lure 29 companies, relocating 1,600 jobs mostly away from the urban core. Includes impact analyses based on race, poverty, welfare and transit access.
An analysis of 525 economic development deals made possible by Minnesota's first-in-the-nation subsidy disclosure law, which found almost half the subsidized companies paying 20% or more below-market wages.
No More Candy Store is the original compilation of grassroots remedies for corporate welfare abuse -- remedies like money-back guarantee "clawbacks," requirements that subsidized companies pay fair wages and benefits, rules for full disclosure, environmental protection and "anti-piracy" safeguards against "paying Peter to rob Paul" with taxpayers money. Verbatim passages from all of the nation's best state and local laws and contracts, ready-made for activists, legislators and anyone seeking to make economic development subsidies accountable.