A recent report from Pew Center on the States lists Idaho among 26 states ‘trailing behind’ when it comes to evaluating tax incentives. That is, having a mechanism in place to take a closer look at the state-specific incentives and exemptions on a regular basis, and to evaluate if they’re doing what they were intended to do. In most cases, that’s spurring economic growth and
StateImpact Idaho has rolled out a series of stories this week on tax incentive transparency in Idaho. That is, what is and isn’t public information when it comes to business tax credits and exemptions.
Almost always, tax incentives are created in the name of economic development. But in Idaho, little information is available about whether these incentives create jobs and grow companies.
Scott Graf talks with StateImpact reporter Emilie Ritter Saunders about the lack of transparency surrounding Idaho's business tax incentives.
Good Jobs First is a non-partisan, non-profit government transparency advocacy group based in Washington, D.C. It was founded in 1998 by Greg LeRoy, who is now executive director. LeRoy has been studying tax incentive transparency for more than two decades. We recently spoke with him to learn more about what he considers ‘transparent enough,’ and what states are doing to open incentive information to the public.
Q: What is transparent enough? What should people have the right to see?