Economic Development Incentives and You
By Paul Gable
One of the biggest ripoffs of American taxpayers comes in the form of economic development incentives given to businesses under the guise of job creation.
This is something we hear about every week, but the cost to the individual taxpayer is never considered.
It has gotten to the point that companies and the governments they negotiate with consider job creation something that should be subsidized by taxpayers.
Businesses understand any expense they can transfer to taxpayers will make the bottom line look better. Government interference in the marketplace is to be avoided at all costs except when business can shift expenses to government.
Government officials take the short term view of being able to brag about the number of new jobs they brought to the area when the next election comes around.
And the cost doesn’t stop once a business locates in the area.
Gov. Nikki Haley just bragged about creating 190 jobs at a business that has been in the state for 40 years.
In Horry County, AvCraft has been to the public well three times seeking new incentives or reduced expenses. Over the eight years it has been in the county, only the same 50 jobs AvCraft brought when it relocated have been realized.
Another bothersome aspect to government economic development initiatives are the secrecy which surround them. Horry County officials recently were treated to a presentation about the need for absolute secrecy in economic development.
Government behind closed doors is bad government. Any secret discussion about spending public money is a bad discussion.
The excuse given is details leaking of these initiatives will kill the deals. We agree with that excuse but nor for the same reasons as economic development officials.
We believe if the public learns too quickly about to whom and how much of its tax dollars are being given away, it will insist the deal be killed.
We also encourage citizens to keep informed about which public officials are voting for these ‘business bribes’ and give them their just reward at the next election cycle they appear on the ballot.
For an in-depth article about the national ramifications of economic development incentives read: