Naked Capitalism has the article Is That a Good State/Local Economic Development Deal? A Checklist.
I’ll give you the checklist, but you’ll have to read the article to see what is said about the items.
1) Is this a new project, or is the subsidy simply being given to move an existing facility from one location to another?
2) Is this a retail project?
3) How many jobs will be created?
4) What are the pay and benefits for this job?
5) Does the project require the use of eminent domain?
6) Does the area that will host the project have objective evidence of economic deprivation, such as high unemployment or low per-capita income?
7) What is the track record of the company involved?
7a) Is the company’s identity hidden by a site location consultant?
8) What taxpayer protections are built in?
9) Would the investment go forward even without the subsidy?
10) Does the project connect to the public transportation grid?
11) What is the opportunity cost to government?
These are the kinds of issues I had in mind when I asked various gubernatorial candidates visiting Sturbridge whether or not they had a better plan to deal with companies wanting subsidies to come to Massachusetts. I wanted to make sure that the candidate would not be a patsy, and give away too much without getting enough in return.
That goes for the local level as well as for us citizens. Don’t be a patsy when the poor rich companies come begging for help to fund their hugely profitable businesses.