Subsidizing Sprawl Through Relocation Tax Breaks

A new study from the nonprofit research center Good Jobs First looks into how relocation tax breaks for businesses have encouraged sprawl in the Cleveland and Cincinnati metropolitan areas.
July 9, 2011, 11am PDT | Nate Berg
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"The study cites 164 companies that were given what it called "lucrative property tax breaks" as they moved facilities around within the Cleveland and Cincinnati metro areas. Good Jobs First said the subsidized relocations, affecting an estimated 14,500 workers, 'were overwhelmingly outward bound and by many measures fueled suburban sprawl, especially in the Cleveland region.'

'By dispersing jobs away from the urban cores, the relocations worsened inequalities in wealth and opportunity,' the nonprofit said. 'They moved jobs away from areas hardest hit by plant closings and with higher rates of poverty, unemployment and people of color to more affluent and less diverse areas.'"

The authors suggest that better regional cooperation would prevent such potentially hazardous competition among neighboring cities.

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Published on Thursday, July 7, 2011 in Crain's Cleveland Business
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