Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tax Breaks and the Good of All

Have there been any long-term studies on whether business tax breaks actually benefit the city, county, or state that grants them? Recently in my area two local businesses had requested tax breaks for 10 years on property taxes and business taxes. The breaks were granted for one business but not for the other. Of course when requesting the tax breaks the businesses said not having to pay those taxes would free them up to "create more jobs" and "hire more people" which seem to be the standard phrases used in such instances. Does it ever work out for the city, county, or state though? Do the tax gains from the additional employees, presumably sales taxes and property taxes, balance out the loss in taxes from the business? The cynic in me says "probably not." I can't help but think the city, county, or state ends up on the losing side of things. Don't get me wrong, adding new employers is a good thing but I'm thinking the city, county, or state likely loses revenue in the equation that could have gone toward providing services for residents.

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