Why Mayors Keep Trying to Woo Business With Tax Breaks

By on February 8, 2019
From CityLab:  We at CityLab have written quite a lot about Amazon’s HQ2 and the use (or abuse) of taxpayer-funded incentives to lure large corporations. The reality is that corporations make location decisions based on factors like the availability of talent, and then game the process to extract maximum incentives. Despite that, the ultimate HQ2 winners—New York and Virginia—offered more than $2 billion combined in various tax credits and incentives to attract Amazon.

So how do America’s mayors really feel about the HQ2 bidding war and the use of business incentives generally?

The most recent edition of the Menino Survey of Mayors, conducted annually by Boston University’s Initiative on Cities, takes a nitty-gritty look at what U.S. mayors think about HQ2 and economic-development incentives. The survey covers 110 mayors from cities across the United States, and was designed to be broadly representative of mayors of cities with more than 75,000 people.

Despite the huge volume of research on the misuse and ineffectiveness of incentives, still more than eight in 10 mayors (84 percent) believe that business incentives are “good policy” for recruiting companies and jobs to their communities.

Read more.

 

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