A government agency overseeing disclosure of subsidies to businesses doesn’t think you’ll respond. We say they’re wrong. The GASB (Government Accounting Standards Board) is accepting public comment now regarding an accounting rule change to force state and local governments to disclose how many subsidies they are giving businesses in the name of economic development. The number is huge. In fact, it averages over $900 per family of four every year and it isn’t disclosed. Naturally, the recipients of the subsidies don’t want you to know how much they are receiving as largesse from your state and local governments. Think Walmart, Amazon, Home Depot, Cabella’s, and others who receive massive subsidies in the form of tax abatement.
The proposed accounting rule isn’t as strong as it should be but it’s a start.This is the first opportunity we have to make a difference. We can make our governments accountable to the people if we simply send a simple comment to DIRECTOR@GASB.org. A sample is included in our viewer when you click on the show show title. It’s all here for you. Now make a difference.
Government Accounting Standards Board
401 Merritt 7
P.O. Box 5116
Norwalk, Connecticut 06856-5116
I would like to submit my comment regarding Project 19-20E concerning government tax abatements to businesses for economic development.
This rule change to require full government disclosure should be approved. Furthermore, it should be strengthened to include:
1. The full cost of tax abatements over multiple years
2. The businesses and brokers who receive the subsidies should be identified and fees disclosed
3. Campaign contributions from businesses and brokers to state and local officials should accompany the disclosure
4. An accurate tally of jobs created resulting from the tax abatement.
I appreciate GASB undertaking this initiative and look forward to the strongest possible rule change.
(your name, address, and email)
Guest: David Cay Johnston Pulitzer Prize winner for investigative journalism, author of numerous books, and national speaker