• This post is part of an occasional series examining state and local reports evaluating economic development incentive programs.  Here we look at Ohio’s 2016 Report to the General Assembly: Compliance with State Awards for Economic Development, prepared by the Ohio Attorney General. As the title suggests, this report’s purpose is to monitor the compliance of economic development award recipients with agreed-upon terms and conditions.  It does not consider economic impact in Ohio or company actions beyond the performance period.  Here is a summary of key points: The report considers 329 projects in four major award categories...

  • Last week we wrote about the State Tax Incentive Evaluations Database. Here we highlight one state's efforts to share its own evaluations with interested citizens. This month the Oklahoma Incentive Evaluation Commission received draft evaluations for 11 state tax incentives. The draft evaluations are all available for review and download here. Oklahoma Watch and NewsOK have summaries of the recommendations here and here. Instead of repeating the findings, since they are easily accessible, in this article I want to highlight the way information is shared. The State of Oklahoma hosts a website dedicated...

  • State and local leaders continue to call for better information on how well their economic development and tax incentive programs are performing. In response, an increasing number of states are conducting formal program evaluations.  A new database from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) created with the support of The Pew Charitable Trusts compiles these state tax incentive evaluations in one place for easy access and searchability.  The database currently contains over 30 state evaluation reports and more will be added over time.  The online database allows searches by analysis topic...

  • One of the biggest challenges for economic developers is figuring out how to talk about incentives to people outside the economic development community. Forthcoming tax abatement disclosures as required by GASB 77 are an opportunity to engage in a better conversation on this difficult topic. Incentive queries often start with a negative or accusatory tone, making economic developers understandably reluctant to initiate a dialogue. However, economic developers are the best resource for quality information on incentives because they have the experience with the projects and the expertise to make sense of...

  • This post is part of an occasional series examining state and local incentive evaluation reports. Last month the Louisiana Legislative Auditor issued, “Tax Incentive Reporting. Follow-up on Agency Compliance with Act 191 of the 2013 Regular Session.” This report actually examines whether state agencies are complying with tax incentive reporting requirements. Those requirements include providing information on whether the incentive met its intended purpose, if the state received a positive return on investment, and whether there were any unintended effects caused by the incentive. From our perspective, an important finding was...

  • The proposed state and local incentive package for Marriott as it plans to relocate its headquarters within Bethesda, Maryland, could be valued up to $62 million. The HQ relocation Marriott is already headquartered in Bethesda but wants to relocate from an office park location to a more urban setting with multiple transportation options, including Metro accessibility. The new headquarters site will also include a 200-room hotel. Similar to other major headquarters moves (see our write-ups of the GE and Mercedes-Benz USA relocations), Marriott wants a more “engaging environment,” a transit-oriented location, and...