State Business Incentives: Trends and Options for the Future

Source: Jennifer Burnett, Council of State Governments, Capitol Research Special report, October 2011

From the summary:
During the past three decades, states have developed various incentive programs designed to encourage economic activity in order to create, retain or expand business opportunities.

In addition to tax and financial incentives, some states have used customized, company-specific incentives to engage in bidding wars with other states, making interstate competition for industries and businesses increasingly intense. Others have offered incentives to recruit business and financial investment from abroad….

…Now, in the face of severe fiscal turmoil, policymakers are looking at their incentive programs more closely to ensure they are truly getting a return on their investments. To help state policymakers make informed decisions, The Council of State Governments offers the third edition of State Business Incentives: Trends and Options for the Future. This report contains information and data on business incentives offered by states; trends in the types of incentives offered; discussion of the accountability and oversight of incentive programs; and policy options and courses of action for state policymakers to consider for the future.

A new feature for this year’s report is an accompanying Web tool that provides access to state business incentive profiles. The Web tool provides information about the state’s primary economic development agency or program and allows users to compare a number of measures across states, including:

* Current incentives offered
* Key tax rates including personal and corporate income and excise tax rates
* Key indicators such as educational attainment, income and population

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