Rick Cohen from the Nonprofit Quarterly has recently noted that New Orleans gave the NFL $800,000 in sales and tax exemptions for organizing Super Bowl XLVII in the city.
Does the NFL (or its member teams) need exemption from local taxes to make the Super Bowl a viable economic activity? Could the $184 million NFL, and its multiple teams valued at a billion dollars or more, have survived paying $800,000 in taxes to local New Orleans governmental units?
The Associated Press has recently reported a case against the state treasurer of Arkansas. Martha Shoffner, the state treasurer, has been accused of receiving thousands of dollars in payments hidden in pie boxes.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas’ state treasurer was accused Monday of taking at least $36,000 in cash — sometimes stashed in a pie box — from a broker who later came to manage a large share of the state’s $3.3 billion investment portfolio.
JR Ball, a writer for the Baton Rouge-based publication Business Report, discusses the latest goodies that a private enterprise is receiving from a local government. Costco is the latest beneficiary from the race to the bottom that showers corporations with tax benefits with the hopes of attracting them to their town:
The three great issues of our time in the Capital Region are these: 1) protecting our turf in the global economy by using any government means necessary to score jaw-dropping wins in the retail and hotel sectors; 2) whether the luring of big-box behemoth Costco secures Baton Rouge a much-coveted seat at the exclusive table of world-class cities (out of our way, Venice!)
The Wall Street Journal reports that federal and state subsidies are making electric car leases nearly free.
With $1,000 down, Mr. Beisel says he got a two-year lease for total out-of-pocket payments of $7,009, a deal that reflects a $7,500 federal tax credit.
As a resident of Georgia, Mr. Beisel is also eligible for a $5,000 subsidy from the state government. Now, he says, his out-of-pocket costs for 24 months in the Leaf are just over $2,000. Factor in the $200 a month he reckons he isn’t paying for gasoline to fill up his hulking SUV, and Mr. Beisel says “suddenly the car puts $2,000 in my pocket.”
Andrew Evans from The Washington Free Beacon reports the bankruptcy of Flabeg Solar, a mirror manufacturer from PA. The mirror manufacturer’s bankruptcy might severely affect the stability and economic efficiency of some of the solar projects funded by the government. The company has received $19 million in state and federal grants, loans, and tax credits.
Flabeg Solar U.S. Corp., a mirror manufacturer based in Pennsylvania, filed for bankruptcy on Tuesday after it could not afford to pay several former employees their severance packages, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
Flabeg is reported to have received millions of dollars in financial assistance from federal and sate governments. Pennsylvania helped the mirror manufacturer build its plant near Pittsburgh with $9 million in grants and loans. The Obama administration awarded Flabeg $10.2 million in tax credits, according to the Post-Gazette.
Tampa Bay’s News 10 reports that Florida’s traffic regulations were quietly changed to permit shorter yellow lights, likely leading to millions of dollars worth of tickets.
The 10 News Investigators found a number of communities shortened their already-safe intervals to the new minimums. In some cases, FDOT mandated longer yellow lights, but seemingly only at intersections that hadn’t been in compliance for years. Around Greater Tampa Bay, the yellow interval reductions typically took place at RLC intersections and corridors filled with RLC cameras.
FDOT’s change in language may have been subtle, but the effects were quite significant. The removal of three little words meant the reduction of yellow light intervals of up to a second, meaning drastically more citations for drivers. A 10 News analysis indicates the rule change is likely costing Florida drivers millions of dollars a year.
Behind every great tax loophole is a great special interest. And that sentiment is readily apparent in this piece by Congressman Scott Garrett.
We are all too familiar with the often repeated mantra “broaden the base and lower the rates” as a solution to our behemoth tax code. Weighing in at roughly 4 million words and incorporating more than 200 separate tax expenditures, commonly referred to as “tax loopholes,” it is not hard to understand why reform is needed. Unfortunately, the reality is that each one of the 200 separate expenditures is tied to a special-interest group.
Is it cronyism for the government to prevent a company from exporting goods because it could lead to higher domestic prices? Apparently the Department of Energy has spent time and resources wondering if natural gas producers should be allowed to export their product. The hang-up appears to be that exports will lead to higher domestic prices that could effect chemical producers. From Chemical & Engineering News:
As DOE approved a permit for the Cheniere terminal, more applications streamed in; it didn’t take long for government officials to realize they were dealing not with a single plant but a potential economic movement. DOE decided to put a temporary halt to its process of examining LNG permit applications. A DOE official tells C&EN the agency thought it prudent to take a break and consider the cumulative impact of selling large amounts of the nation’s newfound surplus of natural gas abroad.