The New York Times has an interesting article and interactive database about various corporate tax breaks, and how states and localities do not keep track of whether various promises have been met, and very often lose in the deal.
I looked at the Tennessee numbers:
In brief, the various incentive programs cost us at least $249 per capita, and 14 cents per dollar of the state budget.
The biggest incentives are sales tax exemptions/refunds/discounts and corporate income tax breaks. The biggest recipients are manufacturing and agriculture.
I hope this causes some reflection and hesitation the next time our community ponders a TIFF, PILOT, or other break.
Hallmark's CEO said something I wish would be learned at a county commission meeting, “If you’re looking at the competitiveness of a region, the most important thing a region can do is to focus on education. And this use of incentives is really transferring money from education to businesses.”
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