Posts Tagged Accountability
The idea behind the Opportunity Zones is to persuade individuals and corporations to invest their capital gains in projects in poor neighborhoods. In return, those investors receive lucrative federal tax breaks. No matter what one might think about this underlying idea of OZs, the execution and administration of the program has fallen short. Their pervasive lack of transparency and accountability is largely to blame.
by Jennifer Morgan
Tracking how states provide incentives for economic development sometimes can be as simple as searching their online reporting platform. Localities, however, often make it difficult to find information on their subsidy recipients. They either require this data be accessed through an open records request, which is burdensome, or they bounce the request from department to department, and eventually decline to disclose.
Exercising discretionary authority his predecessors always had, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards last Friday issued an executive order reforming the most notorious property tax abatement program in the United States.
A recent report by the Pioneer Institute evaluates the job creation impact of six years of investment in the life sciences industry in Massachusetts under the 2008 Life Sciences Act. The LSA was funded at $1 billion over 10 years; when the program was launched, former Gov. Deval Patrick announced it could create 250,000 jobs, resulting in a cost of $4,000 per position.
Risky Business, a new report by New Jersey Policy Perspective, urges the state to improve subsidy accountability and protect taxpayers from bad economic development deals. Such reforms are needed now more than ever as spending on subsidies has sky-rocketed under the Christie administration: $5.1 billion has been awarded since 2010, four times the amount awarded in the previous ten years.