News Column

Ohio Ranks Third in US for Number of Tax Megadeals to Companies

June 25, 2013

Ohio ranks third in the nation, tied with Texas, for the number of "megadeals" awarded companies in tax subsidies, according to a new report by nonprofit Good Jobs First.

State and local governments have been awarding economic development subsidy packages to corporations more frequently than before, Good Jobs First said in releasing findings of a study into tax incentive practices in the U.S. Tax credits and abatements are meant to encourage investment and/or the creation and retention of jobs.

The group identified 240 tax incentive packages that cost at least $75 million a piece over the past 35 years. The cumulative cost of these deals is more than $64 billion, Good Jobs First said, a Washington, D.C., think tank studying public economic development issues.

Eleven deals identified cost $1 billion or more, Good Jobs First said. Since 2008, the group also found the average frequency of "megadeals" per year has doubled compared to the previous decade.

Michigan has awarded 29 such deals, New York has done 23, and Ohio and Texas has done 12 each, according to the report.

This newspaper reported in October 2012 that Ohio has awarded millions in tax incentives to companies that threaten to leave the state.

"Despite their high costs, some of the deals involve little if any new-job creation," said Good Jobs First Executive Director Greg LeRoy in a statement. "Some are instances of job blackmail, in which a company threatens to move and gets paid to stay put. Others involve interstate job piracy, in which a company gets subsidies to move existing jobs across a state border, sometimes within the same metropolitan area."

Source: (c)2013 the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio). Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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