We retired Tax Justice Blog in April 2017. For new content on issues related to tax justice, go to www.justtaxesblog.org
Washington Governor Jay Inslee testified before legislators on the first day of a special session in favor of allowing tax breaks for Boeing that are estimated to cost the state $9 billion. Washington State Budget and Policy Center’s Remy Trupin issued this statement reminding lawmakers “It does not do our state’s economy any good to subsidize Boeing as they ship jobs out of state. We must ensure that significant state investments in Boeing benefit all Washingtonians.” Update: Governor Jay Inslee signed into law tax breaks for Boeing.
There is a promising movement afoot in Minnesota to better fund the state’s transportation needs. The Minnesota Transportation Alliance, in next year’s legislative session, is going to propose either increasing the gas tax or, better yet, reforming it so that it grows alongside gas prices.
Here’s some temporary good news: The Illinois Senate adjourned without approving the litany of corporate tax breaks we told you about in an earlier post. So for now at least $88 million will stay in the state’s coffers. But the sponsor of the tax break bill, Sen. Thomas Cullerton says he expects to bring up the bill again next month. The Chicago Tribune is reporting, “even though [Cullerton] is positive he has enough votes to send the … bill to the House, he would like to secure more.”
Amazon.com, the world’s largest online retailer, managed to score a $7 million subsidy from Wisconsin taxpayers in exchange for building a distribution center in their state. But as our partner organization, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) explains, these kinds of tax incentives are a zero-sum game that rarely pay off with any real economic benefits.