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.
By Matthew L. Wald Sept. 12, 2014
When Nevada lured Tesla Motors to the Reno area to build a giant battery factory, a triumphant governor, Brian Sandoval, proclaimed that every dollar his state was spending in tax incentives and other subsidies would yield $80 in economic activity.
Tesla Motor’s shameful subsidy competition for its battery factory is wrapping up to a close in a state known for big gambling. The Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) announced last week it had assembled a breathtaking package for the proposed “Gigafactory” totaling as much as $1.3
Good Jobs First has launched a petition through MoveOn asking Tesla CEO Elon Musk to open-source his ≥$500 million subsidy demands.
Sign the petition here.
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Tesla Motors is demanding at least $500 million in taxpayer subsidies, whipsawing AZ, CA, NV, NM and TX siting a huge battery factory.
If it's really confident that such massive subsidies are justified, Tesla should release the five states from non-disclosure agreements and allow taxpayers to see the files.
Elon Musk: open-source your subsidy-application files and let taxpayers weigh costs and benefits!
Sign the petition here.
Early this week Good Jobs First joined its voice with those of progressive organizations in Arizona, California, New Mexico, Nevada and Texas to express concerns about the pending subsidy bidding war over Tesla’s proposed Gigafactory. In case you missed it, an open letter signed by Arizona PIRG, the California Budget Project, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN), New Mexico’s SouthWest Organizing Project, Texans for Public Justice and Good Jobs First regarding the multi-state competition has been generating growing media attention. The letter calls for state leaders to seize the opportunity presented by Tesla’s subsidy demands, communicate with each other, and reject the harmful Race to the Bottom.
Much of our daily work at Good Jobs First consists of monitoring massive subsidy packages that often don’t receive much attention in the media. But events like the Gigafactory bidding war provide an opportunity to break down these complicated issues into smaller pieces that allow a practical public dialogue about job creation, competition, and fairness.