Transparency Study: “Show Us the Subsidies”

Posted by: Teaway Zehyoue Collins

A new study by Good Job First, evaluates how well states are disclosing information about their economic development subsidies. Good Job First rated each state’s economic development website on the availability of information in areas such as subsidy dollar amounts, job-creation numbers, wage level in those jobs, geographic location of the subsidized facility, and how easy it was to find and use the online data of each subsidy program. The subsidy programs for Louisiana that were evaluated were Enterprise Zones, Industrial Tax Exemption Program, Motion Picture Investor Tax Credit, Purchases of Manufacturing Machinery and Equipment Exemption, and Quality Jobs Program.  Louisiana tied for 10th place with Pennsylvania and Texas and had an average with a C- grade.

Louisiana’s Enterprise Zones program, which includes corporate income and franchise tax credits for hiring workers from targeted groups with annual cost of $60.6 million, Industrial Tax Exemption Program, which provides property tax relief  for industrial investments, and Quality Job program, which provides investment tax credits and cash rebates for payroll costs, scored relatively well.  The Motion Picture Investor Tax Credit program and the Purchases of Manufacturing Machinery and Equipment Exemption received a score of 0 because the Louisiana Economic Development’s website does not disclose any information about these subsidy programs. These results show that Louisiana is becoming more accountable for the money that it gives to companies to encourage job growth, but it still has a long way to go before policymakers and the public have the information needed to evaluate the effectiveness of these programs.

They include details about safety-net programs like Medicaid, tax credits for low-income workers and educational scholarships and help promote a better understanding of how safety-net programs affect different communities across our state.
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