Subsidy Tracker Extends Its Reach

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Subsidy Tracker, the Good Jobs First database of company-specific information on state and local economic development subsidies, has extended its geographic reach. Tracker now has some data from 45 states and the District of Columbia.

The latest states to be represented are Massachusetts, New Mexico and Wyoming, along with DC. We also added more data from Arizona, Maryland and Wisconsin. Tracker now contains information on more than 115,000 subsidy awards from 278 programs.

This new information was collected from a variety of sources. Maryland just posted a new online tool called Finance Tracker, which contains data on various tax credit, grant and loan programs from the past few years. With recipient address data (which assists in mapping) and download features, it is a big improvement on the PDF reports that used to be the state’s main form of disclosure. The tax credit listings, however, still lack amounts.

Wisconsin’s updated info comes from the less-than-elegant compilation of economic development awards posted by the state’s Commerce Department. The Arizona and Wyoming data come from PDF reports on single programs, while DC’s information is from its first Unified Economic Development Report (distributed in PDF form as well).

The Massachusetts and New Mexico data are unpublished. The info on the Massachusetts Economic Development Incentive Program was obtained through a public records request filed by MASSPIRG, which kindly agreed to share the results with us. The info on New Mexico’s Job Training Incentive Program was supplied directly by the state’s Economic Development Department.

The fact that a state is represented in Tracker does not mean that we have data on all of its subsidy programs. Our coverage of states varies greatly, depending on what has been posted online. Since we have captured everything of significance that is on the web, our focus now is on collecting more unpublished data – both from the five states not yet in Tracker (Arkansas, Kansas, Mississippi, Nevada and South Carolina) and on additional programs from the other 45 states.

Stay tuned as we continue our effort to drag every state subsidy program into the sunlight.

2 Responses to “Subsidy Tracker Extends Its Reach”

  1. Brent Pittman Says:

    Was IN Gov Mitch Daniels qualified to rebut President Obama?

    August 24, 2010
    Letter to the Editor Aug. 25, 2010
    CNHI

    To the Editor:

    Rich Lowry’s and Brian Howey’s commentaries in the Aug. 11 Hendricks County Flyer were a great PR job for Gov. Mitch Daniels. However, the recent Indiana unemployment drop from 10.5 percent to 9.8 percent was probably the result of the Bush and Obama bailout of GM and Chrysler, discouraged job applicants dropping out of the labor force (100,000 manufacturing jobs were eliminated since Daniels’ election and prior to the financial/banking crises in 2008), imported cheap foreign labor (some who are illegal), and the Obama stimulus ($11 million in Hendricks County instead of collecting impact fees on new development) including energy grants and tax cuts for the middle class.

    WTHR TV 13 of Indianapolis investigated Daniels’ jobs claims and has found inaccurate numbers. Eli Lilly was given a $700 million tax cut a few years ago to create good paying jobs; since that time, they have eliminated thousands of jobs. The $8,701 tax incentive per new job that Daniels claims has saved Indiana taxpayers money includes retaining existing jobs and does not include local tax abatements, TIF, tax-free bonds, and new business infrastructure paid by taxpayers. The overwhelming majority of jobs created in Hendricks County are poverty wage jobs in warehousing and retail (good paying manufacturing jobs have been exported to foreign countries as the result of U.S. taxpayer incentives and bad trade deals) that are eligible for EITC ($5,700/family), Medicaid, and many other subsidies paid by taxpayers or added to the federal debt.

    The Indiana budget surplus is due to Daniels owing the federal taxpayers billions of dollars for unemployment and Medicaid; and the Obama bailout of states including Indiana. Business development costs and property taxes were shifted to wheel taxes and residential property owners. When those taxes increased by 700 to 800 percent in some cases, Daniels raised sales taxes from 40 to 80 percent (restaurant and bar food and drinks) to buy down these excessive increases by raising the homestead tax credit which has since decreased by 80 percent in 2009 and another 45 percent in 2010.

    Stagnant home prices due to Bush’s housing bust have contributed to lower property tax increases. Teachers, police, fire, and other public employees are losing their jobs; if not for the Obama stimulus funding earmarked to keep these jobs and to maintain school class sizes. Tolls on the Indiana toll road sold by Daniels have doubled for infrequent drivers, fees have increased up to 300 percent (e.g. state drivers license), Indianapolis water and sewer rates will skyrocket due to corporate ownership, and my fixed wire phone basic rate has increased 22 percent since Daniels deregulated.

    Obama and Democrats are wrong by basing their job creating strategy on “borrowing and spending” and bailing out states like Indiana. Good paying American jobs would be created that pay employee health/medical insurance costs with no bailouts/incentives to banks and corporations and no $13 trillion debt, if Democrats and Republicans would do the following: First, repeal all sales taxes and replace the lost revenue with an import tax/tariff on imported labor and manufactured goods. Second, repeal all local tax incentives that shift business costs to taxpayers and that create poverty wage jobs; or change these incentives to pay a living wage, minimum wage of $14 per hour (parent with one child).

    Where are the Tea Party endorsements for these strategies?

    Brent Pittman Brownsburg, IN

  2. Mapping Job Subsidies: Nearly 2,000 New Deals Ready for Mapping « Says:

    […] now be mapped to an exact address, while about 55,000 deals can be mapped to the nearest city. With new data online and ready for mapping, especially unpublished data just obtained from the state of […]

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