Nearly $40 Million in Tax Breaks and What Do We Get?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


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A new state report listing a total of nearly $40 million in tax breaks given out to companies is being criticized for failing to show how many jobs were created as a result.

In all, there are six programs through which companies could have received a tax credit or other break. The report, which is issued by the Division of Taxation, lists the amount of tax breaks awarded in each program, how much each company received, and how the extra money was supposed to be used for the 2009 fiscal year.

But Kate Brewster, the executive director of the Poverty Institute, faulted the report for failing to include a key piece of information—how many jobs were created and what impact the tax credit programs had on wages.

“What we’re looking to understand is what kinds of jobs are being created as a result of these tax credits,” Brewster told GoLocalProv. “We want to know if this is a cost-effective use of tax dollars.”

She said state law requires more detail in reporting—adding that the Department of Labor and Training won’t release the necessary information on jobs and wages out of privacy concerns. Without that information, she said taxpayers can’t really know if the credits are working.

“That fact that we don’t know is of great concern, especially given the state’s current budget situation,” she said.

In his report on the tax credits, state Tax Administrator David Sullivan said the document is meant to only show the amount of the credits and their recipients. “This report merely summarizes the amount of tax credit received along with other incentives received…” he said. “This report is not intended to provide an analysis as to the effectiveness of this or any other tax credit or incentive.”


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