Texas Governor and Presidential Candidate Rick Perry has taken some flak recently for “job creation” funds, which largely direct taxpayer funds to corporations and special projects. This is commonly known as corporate welfare.
While the popular phrase claims “everything is bigger in Texas,” that doesn’t hold true when in comes to corporate welfare. Pennsylvania’s handouts to corporations dwarf those in Texas despite the Keystone State having about half the population. Ohio leads the nation with the dubious honor of most corporate welfare, according to the latest data.
The top three states in economic development spending all lost jobs between 2002-2010. In fact, it would seem Texas added jobs in spite of corporate welfare spending.
|Expenditures on Economic Development Programs FY 2010|
|Top Five States|
|Rank||State||Total Economic Development Resources Available||Per-Capita||Job Growth 2002-10|
|Source: State Economic Development Expenditure Database, The Council for Community and Economic Research (http://c2er.org)|
While this year’s General Fund Budget reduced corporate welfare spending and consolidated some programs, there remain a number of other subsidies and incentives in Pennsylvania. These include the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP), issuing state bonds for projects such as sports stadiums; independent state agencies such as the Commonwealth Financing Authority, which issues its own debt to implement Pennsylvania’s “stimulus” program; and targeted tax breaks such as the film tax credit.
Here are a few, but almost certainly not all, the various programs Pennsylvania has offering welfare to corporations and economic development groups—all in the name of “creating jobs.”
|Corporate Welfare Grant & Loan Programs||2011-12 Budget (Thousands)|
|Ben Franklin Tech Development Authority Transfer||$14,500|
|Commonwealth Financing Authority Transfer||$82,019|
|Partnerships for Regional Economic Performance||$11,880|
|Discovered in PA Developed in PA||$9,900|
|Infrastructure and Facilities Improvement Grants||$19,409|
|Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program Bonds||$270,000|
|Commonwealth Financing Authority Borrowing||$125,000|
|Pennsylvania Economic Development Financing Authority||?|
|Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority||?|
|Film Tax Credit||$75,000|
|Job Creation Tax Credit||$22,500|
|Research and Development Tax Credit||$40,000|
|Keystone Opportunity Zone||$18,700|
|Keystone Innovation Zone||$25,000|
|Alternative Energy Production Tax Credit||$5,000|
|Total Spending and Credits||$745,521|