Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Community News Network

December 26, 2013

States should rethink big tax breaks to companies, economists say

(Continued)

Boeing has upped the stakes. According to a company document obtained and reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Boeing is asking states to foot most or all of the bill for a new facility that could cost $10 billion, and for tax breaks and training for its workers. Suitors are already opening their wallets.

Missouri lawmakers this month approved a nearly $2 billion package. Washington state, where the aerospace giant has substantial operations, approved incentives approaching an estimated $9 billion earlier this year. Other states, such as South Carolina and Texas, are hoping to win the plant but are keeping their bids close to the vest.

Zidar and Serrato challenge that strategy, starting by reevaluating just how mobile firms are. Their results are partly intuitive — if all that mattered to company location was tax rates, they reason, tech firms wouldn't cluster in high-tax California. Other factors, including housing costs, labor costs and the ready supply of workers with the skills the company needs, contribute to how productive a company is in a particular location. Often those other factors overwhelm modest differences in tax rates.

States can influence all of those factors, not just taxes, and often they can improve those areas for a lower cost than the tax breaks. That's the second half of the economists' conclusion, as it applies to Boeing: Maybe the bidders should be thinking about how to improve infrastructure or labor supply, or whatever their advantage is over other states.

"If I were the governor" of a state with a major Boeing presence, Zidar said, "I would try to figure out how much cost savings Boeing would enjoy by being in Washington versus their next-best option — in terms of productivity, transportation costs, start-up costs to roll out a brand-new major plant and tax savings, etc. — and bid based on that."

He also said the state shouldn't bid beyond a "reasonable cost" per job. But that's the rub. The underwhelming recovery has made many states desperate for economic activity and has redefined "reasonable cost" upward.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 1.33.11 PM.png VIDEO: High-dive accident caught on tape

    A woman at a water park in Idaho leaped off a 22-foot high dive platform, then tried to pull herself back up with frightening results. Fortunately, she escaped with only a cut to her finger.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • CATS-DOGS281.jpg Where cats are more popular than dogs in the U.S.-and all over the world

    We all know there are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • How spy agencies keep their 'toys' from law enforcement

    A little over a decade ago, federal prosecutors used keystroke logging software to steal the encryption password of an alleged New Jersey mobster, Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., so they could get evidence from his computer to be used at his trial.

    July 25, 2014

  • Russia's war on McDonald's takes aim at the Filet-o-Fish

    Russia said earlier this week that it had no intention of answering Western sanctions by making it harder for Western companies to conduct business in Russia.
    But all bets are off, apparently, when you threaten the Russian waistline.

    July 25, 2014

  • cleaning supplies Don't judge mothers with messy homes

    I was building shelves in my garage when a neighbor girl, one of my 4-year-old daughter's friends, approached me and said, "I just saw in your house. It's pretty dirty. Norah's mommy needs to clean more."

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arizona's prolonged lethal injection is fourth in U.S. this year

    Arizona's execution of double-murderer Joseph Wood marked the fourth time this year that a state failed to dispatch a convict efficiently, according to the Constitution Project, a bipartisan legal group.3

    July 24, 2014

  • Police Brutality screen shot. Technology plays key part in battling police brutality (VIDEO)

    Allegations of police brutality are nothing new -- as long as there has been law enforcement, citizens have registered claims that some officers cross the line. But in the last few years, the claims of excessive force are being corroborated with new technology from cell phone cameras, police dash-cams and surveillance videos. 

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Facebook continues moneymaking trend

    Facebook seems to have figured out - for now at least - the holy grail for all media right now: how to make money selling mobile ads.

    July 24, 2014

  • Has the ipad lost its swag?

    July 24, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014