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LIVE from Detroit: Corporate Welfare and Tax Loopholes vs. Public Services: Who’s Winning?

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.