The hotly fought competition for Amazon’s second headquarters and other recent megadeals to corporations looking to relocate have reignited a long-running debate over the value of economic development incentives. Proponents say these tax breaks, credits and other financial inducements are necessary to attract business and help bring jobs and investment to localities that are at a disadvantage in competitive marketplaces. Critics counter that such giveaways primarily benefit already prosperous corporations while reducing funding for education and other public services. Politicians often find it hard to resist offering subsidies, in part because they are eager to show constituents that they are fighting hard to attract jobs and investment. But public officials in several states and municipalities are now taking a hard look at incentive programs and reconsidering their value.read full report
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Are governments giving away too much?
New York’s offer of $3 billion in incentives to win part of Amazon’s second headquarters generated strong local opposition. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)