Urban Fold

Unveiling the Municipal Subsidy Hall of Shame

Daniel Denvir's article will have you thinking twice about whether your elected officials should be dedicating public resources to support the newest mega-project in your city as he explores "Great Moments in the History of Boondoggles."

As cities compete with one another to attract increasingly mobile jobs and investment, a wide variety of private players, from corporations to sports franchises, are demanding public subsidies to support their pet projects, writes Denvir. 

"As a public service to the city council members and mayors of the world (not to mention the taxpayers they serve!) who are currently pushing for big subsidies, tax increment finance deals, or abatements for their pet mega-projects, we offer this quick look back at three of the most embarrassing municipal boondoggles in American history. Don't say we didn't warn you."

Philadelphia's "Disney Quest" project, Flint, Michigan's "AutoWorld" amusement park, and New York City's 1998 luxury package of subsidies, cash and tax breaks intended to keep Wall Street from moving to Jersey City all make Denvir's municipal subsidy hall of shame.

Full Story: Great Moments in the History of Boondoggles


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