WASHINGTON, March 8, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than half of the nation's 50 biggest cities and counties still fail to disclose online even the names of the companies receiving property tax abatements or other costly economic development incentives. Even fewer report incentive-deal outcomes: Only 13 of the 50 localities disclose the number of actual jobs created by one of their key incentive programs.
These are among the key findings of Show Us the Local Subsidies, a report issued today issued today by Good Jobs First, a non-profit watchdog group. The report is freely available at www.goodjobsfirst.org.
"Localities spend tens of billions of dollars annually on subsidies, yet most make it difficult for residents to learn which companies receive that assistance," said the report's author, Good Jobs First research Analyst Kasia Tarczynska. "And even fewer provide information on the effectiveness of the awards."
Despite the large number of programs without adequate disclosure, there has been modest progress in transparency since 2013, when Good Jobs First last surveyed localities' practices.
Only one of the 85 programs evaluated in the new report receives a perfect score of 100: New York City's Industrial Incentive Program. Yet the city's other program covered in the report—the Industrial and Commercial Abatement Program—gets a zero because it lacks recipient disclosure. Austin's two programs, with their average score of 92.5, give the Texas city the best overall rating. It is followed by Nassau County and Suffolk County, both in New York, Memphis-Shelby County in Tennessee, and Ohio's Franklin County, each of which receive an average program score of 85.
Among those large cities and counties still failing to provide online disclosure of even the names of subsidy recipients (much less dollar costs or job-creation benefits) are: Boston; Broward County, Florida; Charlotte; Columbus, Ohio; Cook County, Illinois; Dallas; Indianapolis; Los Angeles City and County; Miami-Dade; Philadelphia; Portland, Oregon; San Diego City and County; San Francisco; and San Jose.
For a program to be deemed transparent and therefore eligible to be rated in the report, the data must be available on a public webpage and the names of recipient companies must be included.
"We hasten to add that just because a program is transparent, that says nothing about its effectiveness," Tarczynska added. "But transparency is a prerequisite for evaluating effectiveness."
Contact: Greg LeRoy 202-232-1616 x 211
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SOURCE Good Jobs First