Reports: Mississippi better tracking of tax incentives

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National nonprofits that study economic development, including the Pew Center on the States and Good Jobs First, give Mississippi low marks on reporting and tracking the effectiveness of tax breaks and incentives for economic development.

National nonprofits that study economic development, including the Pew Center on the States and Good Jobs First, give Mississippi low marks on reporting and tracking the effectiveness of tax breaks and incentives for economic development.

“Transparency by itself is no guarantee that a subsidy program is accountable or effective,” concluded Philip Mattera, principal author of January 2014 report on state job subsidies from Good Jobs First. “But it is the foundation for any meaningful assessment.”

Good Jobs First scored Mississippi at 12 percent, out of a potential 100 percent, on disclosure information for five key subsidy programs. A 2012 Pew Center report said Mississippi is one of 25 states “trailing behind” in measuring the effectiveness of tax-incentive programs the state Legislature has approved.

An executive summary of the Pew report says: “Tax incentives cost billions of dollars every year, and states rely heavily on them to promote economic development. Policy makers should know whether these tools deliver a strong return on investment.

“Regular, rigorous, and comprehensive evaluations of tax incentives are critical to their ability to do so.”

By Anita, Lee. Sun Herald. March 1, 2014

Read more here: http://www.sunherald.com/2014/03/01/5381498/reports-mississippi-better-tracking.html#storylink=cpy

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