Posts Tagged Disclosure
We posted a new version of Subsidy Tracker, Good Jobs First’s database of company-specific subsidy awards from state and local governments across the country as well as federal agencies. During this round of updates, we added over 17,000 entries from 112 state and local programs from 28 states. We also updated the federal programs. We also added nine megadeals.
For decades, state and local governments have issued Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFRs) that failed to include an important part of their fiscal condition: the extent to which they have forgone revenue by giving economic development tax breaks to businesses. An estimated $70 billion in subsidies are awarded each year in the name of job creation and economic growth.
On the heels of a terrific NPR-station exposé, the District of Columbia has become the first large U.S. jurisdiction to enact campaign finance reform thanks to job subsidies becoming transparent.
Report: District of Columbia Job Subsidy Practices In Need of Improvement; Lag Behind Nearby Jurisdictions
Washington, DC—Despite the District of Columbia embracing four leading best practices, other basic economic development standards and safeguards remain absent.
- failure to set job creation and job quality standards,
- lax reporting on project outcomes,
- failure to enforce existing standards, and
- the need for an online transparency database.
The report is available at:
Despite such shortcomings, experience shows that the District can rapidly change course. For example, recent enhancements raised D.C.’s ranking on job subsidy transparency from dead last to 26th among the states in a 2014 Good Jobs First national report card study.
For many years, we at Good Jobs First have criticized GASB—the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, or “GAZ-bee”— for failing to require state and local governments to disclose economic development subsidy spending in a uniform way.
It appears that’s finally about to change, and if it does, it will be hard to overstate the significance of the news.