Thursday, December 10, 2020

The Beacon Center's 12 Days of Pork, #2: "Once you pop, you don't stop," Giving tax dollars to private companies.

The Beacon Center - Every year, Tennessee taxpayers are asked to give up millions of dollars to private companies through the state’s main corporate welfare program: FastTrack. 

This year’s edition of the Pork Report includes recipients like AutoZone, Accenture, and Pringles. Since last year’s edition, the state has given companies like these over $39.6 million in taxpayer dollars while in the midst of a major budget crunch due to COVID-19. The overwhelming evidence shows that these types of programs make little difference in company relocation and expansion decisions. Estimates indicate these handouts sway companies as little as two percent of the time. 

Do we really think when Pringles is investing over $200 million to expand its factory that giving it $400,000 is really necessary? Additionally, once the government gives companies these types of deals, they demand more money to keep them here in the future; other companies then expect to receive deals as well. So once it starts, it’s hard for the government to stop. 

Solution: Repeal the FastTrack program and focus taxpayer funds on economic development that works for all, like education, workforce development, and infrastructure. 

 on the second day of Christmas, the government gave to me… more taxpayer dollars to companies

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