While the country mourns yet another mass shooting, one sad, obscure truth in this debate is the fact that the companies producing weapons are being subsidized by communities across the country. While a full accounting of how much the public gifts to gun makers is hampered by poor transparency practices, but we know for sure that the companies have received millions of dollars, often just to relocate.
The other night, while scrolling Netflix for something to watch, I settled on “Don’t Look Up,” a cautionary tale that uses an earth-destroying meteor as a proxy for climate change. I instantly thought – how much in subsidies did this movie get? But I know the answer, because it’s almost always the same: I cannot tell and won’t be able to find out for another couple of years. Here is why.
The U.S. Treasury recently issued its final rule on the eligible uses of the American Rescue Plan Act’s (ARPA) Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (CSLFRF). The guidelines also clarify what funds may not be used for. Notably, the Treasury said they can’t be used for general economic development purposes.
We spent this summer collecting data for the latest Subsidy Tracker update, which now is posted online and available to users. This update consists mostly of local data; however, we also added state data and four megadeals.
As states and localities finally start to disclose how much revenue they lose to corporate welfare (thanks to GASB Statement 77*), we continue to see laggards and leaders.
By Mark Niesse, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Over the objection of a school system that insisted children would pay the price, economic development officials last year granted tax breaks worth more than $250 million to a company that wants to transform an old General Motors site in Doraville into a mix of offices, retail and housing.
In Atlanta, UPS, the world’s largest package delivery company, also was negotiating $28 million in tax breaks for a new logistics facility that will employ 1,000 low-paid workers.
States are following different scripts on the contentious issue of film subsidies. Michigan, Florida, Louisiana and Massachusetts are cutting back while Georgia continues to deal out major incentives to the industry.