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Tax Incentives Report

Tax Incentives Report

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Published by pewstates

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Published by: pewstates on May 18, 2012
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PEW CENTER ON THE STATESPEWSTATES.ORg
EvidenceCounts
Evaluating State Tax Incentivesfor Jobs and Growth
 
April 2012
The Pew Center on the States is a division of The Pew Charitable Trusts that identifies andadvances effective solutions to critical issues facing states. Pew is a nonprofit organizationthat applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improve public policy, inform the public, andstimulate civic life.
PEW CENTER ON THE STATES
Susan K. Urahn, managing director
PROJECT TEAM
Research and writing
Brandon Brockmyer Jeff Chapman Josh GoodmanDenise Wilson Will WilsonRobert Zahradnik
Editorial
Lori GrangeScott Greenberger
Communications
Nicole DueffertLiz VoylesGaye Williams
Design and web
 Jennifer PeltakEvan PotlerCarla Uriona
EXTERNAL REVIEWERS
The following experts have reviewed the report for accuracy and verify that the conclusionsare well-founded and based on a sound methodology. Except where noted, they also providedvaluable guidance in developing the criteria for rating the states. Organizations are listed foraffiliation purposes only.
Bill Allaway, president, TTARA Research Foundation Jim Anderson, president, Springfield, Missouri AreaChamber of CommerceTimothy J. Bartik (reviewer only), senior economist, W.E. Upjohn InstituteCarl Davis, senior policy analyst, Institute on Taxationand Economic PolicyRuta Fanning, retired legislative auditor, WashingtonState Joint Legislative Audit and Review CommitteePeter Fisher, research director, Iowa Policy Project,and professor emeritus of urban and regionalplanning, University of IowaDan Gorin (reviewer only), former chief economist of the Oklahoma Department of Commerce
ACKNOWLEDgMENTS
 Valuable research support was provided by the following Pew staff members: Ike Emejuru, John Gramlich, RickyHarrison, Vicki Kleger, and Aidan Russell. We also thank Samuel Derheimer, Sara Dube, Emily Lando, MicheleMariani Vaughn, Lori Metcalf, Abigail Sylvester, Gary VanLandingham, and Darcy White for their insights. Finally,we thank the many state officials and other experts in the field who were so generous with their time, knowledge,and expertise.
This report is intended for educational and informational purposes. References to specific policy makersor companies have been included solely to advance these purposes and do not constitute an endorsement,sponsorship, or recommendation by The Pew Charitable Trusts.©2012 The Pew Charitable Trusts. All Rights Reserved.901 E Street NW, 10th Floor 2005 Market Street, Suite 1700 Washington, DC 20004 Philadelphia, PA 19103
 
Dear Reader:In the wake of the Great Recession, states have to do more with less—so everydollar counts. Lawmakers are looking to get their fiscal houses in order, delivercritical services more effectively and at a lower cost, and invest where the provenreturns are greatest, in areas that will generate dividends over the short and longterm. The Pew Center on the States works on a range of important issues to helpthem do just that.States spend billions of dollars annually on tax incentives for economicdevelopment, offering businesses credits, exemptions, and deductions to locate,hire, expand and invest within their borders. But this report,
Evidence Counts
,finds that half the states have not taken basic steps to produce and connectpolicy makers with good evidence of whether these tools deliver a strong returnon taxpayer dollars. This knowledge gap is particularly worrisome at a time of tight budgets and sluggish economic growth. If policy makers do not base theirdecisions about tax incentives on good information, they could be spending scarceresources unwisely. On the other hand, if they do not use these incentives or usethem well, they could be missing out on opportunities to create jobs and attractnew businesses.This report builds on Pew’s efforts to provide decision-makers with importantinformation about both the fiscal challenges they face and data-driven policyoptions. We hope this work will inform and guide state leaders as they chart apath toward recovery today and sustainability tomorrow.Sincerely, Susan UrahnManaging Director, Pew Center on the States

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