Tennessee has joined the ranks of those states (now up to 45 plus DC) that disclose which companies are receiving financial assistance from at least some subsidy programs.
Meanwhile, New York has issued the first disclosure report for its new Excelsior Jobs Program, which replaced the notorious Empire Zones. We have already incorporated the new info from both states in Subsidy Tracker, the Good Jobs First national database of subsidy awards.
It is encouraging to see that Tennessee, which long resisted transparency, has begun to bring its subsidies out of the shadows. The state’s Department of Economic and Community Development put up a website that shows the companies participating in the FastTrack Training Job Training Assistance and FastTrack Infrastructure Development programs since the beginning of this year. Earlier awards are covered in employment audits (which include a racial breakdown of workers in the jobs created) but these documents do not show the subsidy amounts. The site also has info on the state’s Film Incentives, but only the name of the movie, not the name of the production company getting the assistance, is displayed.
The FastTrack disclosures, which come after representatives of the DECD consulted with Good Jobs First, are a good first step, but the site cannot yet be considered an exemplary disclosure source. For example, the current PDF lists need to be supplemented with a searchable search engine and/or downloadable spreadsheet. The entries should include additional information such as the full address of the subsidized facility. Tennessee officials say they are committed to improving the site. Hopefully, this will include the inclusion of disclosure data on the state’s Jobs Tax Credits and Super Jobs Tax Credits.
New York’s Empire State Development agency has finally posted the first Excelsior Jobs report in the form of a PDF list of the companies that have been admitted into the program—along with their maximum potential tax credit and their commitments on job creation and investment. Another PDF shows the small number of companies that have already been issued tax credits. This site needs enhancements like those prescribed for Tennessee.
As part of our effort to expand Subsidy Tracker’s coverage of city and county programs, we have just uploaded data obtained from the Missouri State Auditor on payments to developers in all of the state’s many local tax increment financing districts.
Tracker’s latest batch of enhancements also includes unpublished data on companies benefiting from the the Business Industry Training and Existing Workforce Training programs in Arkansas and South Carolina’s readySC training program.
Tracker now contains more than 155,000 entries from 351 programs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.