Synopses & Reviews
Almost every city and state in America has been slammed by a multilevel scandal, one that involves taxes, jobs, and corporate and political accountability. Under the guise of ""economic development,"" big companies have gotten extraordinary tax breaks, from property tax abatements to land write-downs. Promises of job creation in exchange for these tax breaks have proven hollow, with companies continuing to downsize and outsource at record levels. Government officials are no help - they're well compensated major players in this troubling drama. This timely book explores these abuses in depth, but also offers hope with a series of commonsense reforms that would give taxpayers powerful new tools to reverse this situation - and redirect monies in ways that will really pay off. By popularizing these grassroots reforms - which are already taking hold - this book is taking a movement that is percolating in the states and putting it on the national stage.
"Founder and director of the nonprofit center Good Jobs First, LeRoy offers a parade of damning case studies showing why communities should not woo corporations with subsidies. Corporate tactics, he finds, include quickly shuttered subsidized facilities, union busting and jobs that pay below the poverty line. Rewritten tax codes, which focus on sales taxes but ignore payroll and property taxes, as well as other tax abatements, undermine schools; most stadiums and convention centers further bleed public monies. Moreover, subsidies generally support suburban sprawl rather than accessibility to public transit used by the poor. Some corporate location consultants work both for companies and governments 'a sad reflection' of a disorganized public sector. On the corporate minus side, tax incentives to relocate, he shows, are dwarfed by labor, transport and utility costs. The upshot? Corporations are paying 28% less in state and local taxes than 20 years ago. LeRoy's suggested reforms include greater disclosure about subsidy deals; money-back guarantees if companies don't fulfill their pledges; requiring subsidized jobs to meet local average wages; closing corporate loopholes; and making sure every deal is approved by elected officials rather than appointed ones. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Exploring in depth the abuses of tax breaks by large corporations and government through the ""economic development"" of communities, LeRoy offers a series of commonsense reforms that would give taxpayers powerful new tools to redirect monies in ways that will really pay off.