One of the nation’s biggest corporate welfare programs – known as Chapter 313 for its place in the Texas tax code – is finally on its way to out. As of Dec. 31, 2022, the state can approve no more new deals. But now, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar is proposing to slash the amount of information his office publishes on the costs and benefits of the deals, which have largely benefited oil and gas companies.
Since stimulus funds started going out, Good Jobs First and other open government advocates have been pushing for greater transparency and accountability for how trillions in CARES Act and ARPA funds are being spent. Some states, we’ve noted, have made questionable if not outright poor choices.
Right now, three tech companies—#1 and #2 microchip makers Intel and Samsung and electric-truck start-up Rivian—are staging secret subsidy auctions, playing states against each other for new facilities.
Two-thousand fourteen was a banner year for our movement, hands down. The first move to require standardized subsidy-cost reporting! The first half of a legally-binding two-state cease fire deal! The first state ban on tax-break commissions! A big surge found in state disclosure of subsidies! Big improvements to our Subsidy Tracker, enabling first-ever mash-ups!
By Emily Badger Sept. 15, 2014
Tesla announced earlier this month that it's planning to build a $5 billion lithium battery factory just outside of Reno, which sounds good for Nevada and bad for losing bidders California, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico. So how did Nevada beat out so many competitors?
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.