Greg LeRoy, executive director of Good Jobs First, told the Orlando Sentinel the incentives were "worse than a zero-sum game. We call this interstate job fraud. At the end of the day, you've also got less revenue available for public services."
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has tried for years to expand the state's corporate subsidy offerings, only to see lawmakers cut the funds from final spending plans. But as the influx of federal pandemic money flowed into the state, Justice saw an opportunity.
The result: a $30 million "deal-closing fund" that has no strings or rules over how the money is spent.
Transparency is a cornerstone of economic development, allowing the public to know where funds are being invested, what companies benefit from tax breaks, and if they do the good things corporate leaders and elected officials say they will. That’s why we were so cheered to see Franklin County, Ohio's new website that lifts the veil of secrecy that so often shrouds economic development subsidies.
“People aren’t persuaded by the dogma anymore that tax breaks create jobs. Too many people see that the emperor doesn’t have clothes anymore,” Greg LeRoy, executive director of Good Jobs First, which tracks corporate subsidies, told The Intercept. “These extractive industries have been extractive of the tax base too. People realize it’s too corrosive.”
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.
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.
Subsidy Tracker, the nation’s only public and free database of economic development incentive awards, today introduced a new feature that allows the user to display summary data for more than 10,000 different localities across the country. The summaries, like those previously provided for states, show subsidy totals and list the biggest recipient companies along with links to each individual entry.
Local economic development departments are so eager to fertilize job creation in their communities that they often grow low-wage jobs that are detrimental to their economic landscape. Too often, localities (cities or counties) provide funding to employers that promise to create jobs but fail to ask: Will these positions be full-time? Pay minimum-wage or a living-wage?
By Sarah Jaffe, July 9, 2015
The St. Louis-area campaign highlights the networks of powerful individuals who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo
By Diane Cardwell, July 20, 2015
BUFFALO — Along a bend in the Buffalo River here, an enormous steel and concrete structure is rising, soon to house one of the country’s largest solar panel factories. Just to the south, in the rotting guts of the old Bethlehem Steel plant in Lackawanna, where a dozen wind turbines already harness the energy blowing off Lake Erie, workers are preparing to install a big new solar array.