SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – As state and local governments are offering more than $80 billion per year in tax breaks and giveaways to attract new businesses, state Rep. Mike Halpin, D-Rock Island, is sponsoring legislation that prioritizes investment in proven job-creating services such as education and infrastructure over companies that claim to create jobs but do not always deliver.
“Local governments have a legitimate goal in wanting to attract new businesses to their communities,” said Halpin. “However, too often corporations make big promises for job creation in order to get these subsidies, when they really have no intention or ability of delivering. It’s time to stop this crooked game, and ensure our tax dollars are funding things we know create high-wage jobs: our schools, advanced job training and infrastructure.”
As more companies are seeking multi-billion dollar incentive packages to relocate or expand their operations, Halpin’s House Resolution 146 calls for federal regulations on the types of financial incentives states can offer to poach companies from each other. Rather than investing taxpayer dollars into corporate giants that are looking out for their own bottom line, the legislation prioritizes investment in local communities through infrastructure improvements, education and workforce training for 21st century jobs.
“The pressure to offer the most generous incentive packages has led to a race to the bottom, pitting communities against each other to the detriment of our tax base, our school districts and essential government services,” said Halpin. “Thoughtfully investing in these services has a far better shot at promoting long-term, sustainable job growth than giving away taxpayer dollars to companies seeking special deals.”
House Resolution 146 received approval from the House Revenue and Finance Committee and now advances to the House floor.