Category Archives: News

MEGA Failure: Job Projections From Michigan Tax Credit Program Rarely Came True

Michigan’s Capitol Confidential reports that a Michigan tax credit program historically has trouble meeting its job creation goals.

Of the 434 Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) credits approved for new jobs from 2005 to the end of the program in 2011, only 10 projects met or exceeded their estimated job counts. In other words, just 2.3 percent of MEGA projects met or exceeded expectations.

 

Widow loses home over $6.30 tax bill

The Appalachian Area New Network reports on the unfortunate case of a woman who lost her home over a $6.30 tax bill.

If Battisti’s appeals fail in future hearings, she will get most of the proceeds from the sale of her home, which fetched only $116,000.

“She’s going to get that money, but she’s going to lose her house. All the notice requirements were met,” wrote Kwidis. “In tax assessment laws, even if I feel sorry for her, I can’t do anything to help her.”

Economic development incentives in Utah

Deseret News reports that the Governor’s Office of Economic Development in Utah has conditionally approved tax incentives for two companies:

As part of a contract with Pactiv, the GOED board of directors approved a maximum tax credit of $871,010 in the form of a post-performance Economic Development Tax Increment Finance incentive, which is 15 percent of the net taxes Pactiv will pay over the 10-year life of the agreement.

As part of the agreement with Wilson Electronics, the GOED board approved a maximum tax credit of $266,312 in the form of a post-performance Economic Development Tax Increment Finance incentive, which is 15 percent of the net taxes the company will pay over the five-year life of the contract.

The full story is here.

It’s a Corporate Welfare Mystery

Jack Spencer, an affairs specialist for Michigan Capitol Confidential, details a mystery project that almost received $5.5 million from Michigan’s taxpayers, yet no one knows who would’ve owned the property. It’s a corporate welfare mystery:

What seems bizarre is the apparent secrecy surrounding the proposal,” said Jack McHugh, senior legislative analyst for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. “In particular, who will become the proud new owner of a building used for the project for which taxpayers would have paid $5.5 million?

R.I. developer awarded $2.5 million in tax credits

The Providence Journal reports that a property developer was awarded $2.5 million in tax credits to redevelop an office structure.

In addition to the state historic tax credits, Chace is seeking a property tax stabilization agreement with the city.  A City Council committee will discuss a proposed 12-year  stabilization agreement for the Kinsley Building later this month.

 

Venezuela’s Downward Economic Spiral Continues?

USA Today reports on a series of worrying economic trends in Venezuela, including a shortage of vehicle parts, foodstuffs, and medicine.

International airlines are refusing to sell tickets in bolivars, or the local currency, saying the government owes them $3 billion from sales last year. Empresas Polar, the country’s largest food processor, has already warned that it may have to shut some operations as it owes its overseas suppliers nearly half a billion dollars.

Newspapers throughout the country are running out of newsprint, and there are shortages of foodstuffs and medicines

These shortages arrive on the heals of extensive price controls and heavy, ongoing inflation.

Cronyism?

The Star-Ledger reports that Sen. Menendez disclosed a flight that he received from a campaign donor, worth $11,250, that went two years without being disclosed or reimbursed.

“Due to an oversight, the campaign did not reimburse Dr. Melgen for the cost of that flight at the time,” Brubaker said. “When that oversight was discovered, at the end of 2013, Sen Menendez directed his campaign to immediately reimburse Dr. Melgen $11,250 for the cost of the flight.”

Menendez is reportedly also being investigated by a federal grand jury as to whether he did favors for Melgen’s business interests.

Regulations & Permits

Regulatory agencies can exercise complete control over an industry through permits – or more accurately, by not granting permits. Consider New York: for the last five years the state has been studying the health effects of fracking, and is offering no permits until the study is complete. From the Albany Business Review:

Shale gas drillers will have to wait at least another year before New York regulators consider issuing permits to allow companies to drill for gas using the hydraulic fracturing technology known as fracking.

…the practice has been on hold in New York for the last five years pending a review to determine if fracking is safe.

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