December 17, 2010
Pulling back the curtain on corporate tax giveaways
A new report by the non-profit, non-partisan organization, Good Jobs First, consolidates public disclosure information about the corporate tax incentives and job subsidies doled out by state and local governments across the country. Many governments offer little to no online reporting of how much money is being given away and to what corporations, but Good Jobs First ranks North Carolina ranks third behind Wisconsin and Illinois for public disclosure – though our state gets only a C+ overall.
“With states being forced to make painful budget decisions, taxpayers expect economic development spending to be fair and transparent,” said Good Jobs First Executive Director Greg LeRoy in the press release (PDF) accompanying the report:
“Claims that sunshine would hurt a state’s business climate have been discredited, trumped by people’s rising expectations about government information being online.”
North Carolina under the microscope
Good Jobs First also unveiled a new website where people can see in one place information from all 50 states and the District of Columbia about their corporate subsidies and giveaways – AccountableUSA. North Carolina has five key subsidy programs, which most recently doled out a total of $141.3 million in taxpayer funds to private interests.
Across these multiple reports, detailed information is provided about program recipients, including but not limited to: projected vs. actual job creation/retention, projected vs. actual average wage rates, and amounts of funds recaptured (when targets were not met). Further information on funds recaptured through the Job Development and One North Carolina programs can be found in the Commerce Department’s Final Clawback Report.
Click here to view the AccountableUSA – North Carolina page and see for yourself where the money is going and what return on investment (if any) North Carolina tax payers are receiving.