Economic Development Incentive Policy

tax incentivesTax incentive policy is missing in most community governments.  This seems at odds with most community governments being pro-economic development.  How can you define what type of project merits a tax incentive if there are no guidelines?  How do you justify to the tax payers picking up the tab if you believe an incentive was warranted?  Obviously, you don’t and you can’t.

I’ve done economic development deals in multiple States with varying sizes of governments, and what continues to surprise me it the question, “should we give more?”  While the question is a valid question, it underlines the need to set a definition of what projects merit incentives, and which do not.  Otherwise how do you justify governance and equity in the distribution of tax dollars?

Tax incentives have been around for decades, so why haven’t more communities defined parameters to gauge project worth more often?  Perhaps the answer is partially within the dynamic of getting “a win”, rather than defining what a true community “win” looks like.