This ses­sion is mod­er­at­ed by Mesha Williams, social media coor­di­na­tor for the Inter­na­tion­al Asso­ci­a­tion of Fire Fight­ers. Panelist/speaker is Greg LeRoy from Good Jobs First.

About $70 Bil­lion is spent per year on sub­si­diz­ing busi­ness devel­op­ment. Tax­es amount to only about 2% of the cost of doing busi­ness on aver­age, so tax breaks have min­i­mal effect on businesses.

The num­ber of “megadeals” is high due to the demand from politi­cians for cre­at­ing more jobs. Yet there is only a small amount of devel­op­ment being done that increas­es jobs. These megadeals pull mon­ey away from infra­struc­ture invest­ment and oth­er state obligations.

As an exam­ple, Detroit has a rev­enue prob­lem that began with auto­mo­tive fac­to­ry shut­downs. Michi­gan MEGA Deals were con­cen­trat­ed in out­ly­ing areas and ignored Detroit city itself, which con­tributed to the fall in tax rev­enues. Schools are the biggest losers with rev­enue shortfalls.

Taxpayers/workers win with trans­paren­cy and full dis­clo­sure behind tax­es and sub­sidy mon­ey spent on busi­ness development.

Good Jobs First has an “Account­able USA” page that shows, state by state, essen­tial infor­ma­tion on sub­sidy prac­tices and con­tro­ver­sies. Good Jobs First also tracks and aggre­gates sub­sidy data that can oth­er­wise be dif­fi­cult to find.

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