Tax Breaks for Big Business is Bad Policy

So says the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, releasing a new report that says this all-too-common strategy rarely pays off.

July 4, 2012, 11:00 AM PDT

By Tim Halbur


Report authors Daphne A. Kenyon,  Adam H. Langley, and Bethany P. Paquin explain that there are three obstacles to successful property tax incentives:

"First, incentives are unlikely to have a significant impact on a firm's profitability since property taxes are a small part of the total costs for most businesses-averaging much less than 1 percent of total costs for the U.S. manufacturing sector. Second, tax breaks are sometimes given to businesses that would have chosen the same location even without the incentives. When this happens, property tax incentives merely deplete the tax base without promoting economic development. Third, widespread use of incentives within a metropolitan area reduces their effectiveness, because when firms can obtain similar tax breaks in most jurisdictions, incentives are less likely to affect business location decisions."

The authors say that strategies that work better for long-term economic development include "...customized job training, labor market intermediaries, and business support services."

 The full report is available as a free PDF download.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012 in The Boston Globe

Gentrification

What We Really Mean When We Say Gentrification

The focus on gentrifying communities has, in many cases, eclipsed the similar problems facing more stagnant neighborhoods.

September 14, 2021 - Vox

Brooklyn Redevelopment

Study: Market-Rate Development Filters Into Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing

New research sheds new light on one of the most hotly debated questions in planning and development.

September 15, 2021 - Full Stack Economics

Los Angeles, California

The End of Single-Family Zoning in California

Despite a few high-profile failures, the California State Legislature has approved a steady drumbeat of pro-development reforms that loosen zoning restrictions. The state raised the stakes on its zoning reforms this week.

September 19, 2021 - Office of Governor Gavin Newsom

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.