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Economic Development Giveaways

WHEREAS:

         State and local governments are offering increasingly large subsidies to corporations, including tax abatements, tax credits and other forms of corporate welfare; and

WHEREAS:

         Corporate giveaways are offered for the purpose of spurring economic development, despite the lack of evidence that subsidies actually increase the number of good jobs. Economic development giveaways have adverse economic effects by diverting taxpayer dollars from education and public services; and

WHEREAS:

         The process of granting subsidies often lacks transparency and public participation. Subsidy programs are usually poorly monitored. Giveaways are sometimes granted to companies that pay workers poverty wages or even outsource and lay off workers; and 

WHEREAS:

         Economic development giveaways usually lack binding requirements such as “clawback” provisions, which stop subsidies or demand refunds when a corporation fails to meet its economic development commitments; and

WHEREAS:

         Subsidies fuel competition among state and local government looking to attract businesses, resulting in a race to the bottom, in which an increasing amount of taxpayer money is used to subsidize companies at the expense of quality public services; and

WHEREAS:

         Anti-tax groups and anti-government groups, supported by moneyed interests, continue to mislead people about the effectiveness of subsidies to stimulate economic activity; and

WHEREAS:

         Subsidy programs have been propagated by both political parties in attempt to implement business-friendly policies. Many state and local governments have chosen to increase giveaways instead of restoring public services as economic conditions and government revenues improve.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:

         That AFSCME recommit to advocating for nationwide reform of subsidy programs to enforce responsible economic development, in which  subsidy programs are created and governed with full transparency and public participation and strong job quality standards; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:

         That AFSCME advocate for policies that hold corporations accountable for any subsidy that they receive through the use of clawbacks and rescissions; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:

         That AFSCME work to strengthen coalitions in order to pass state and local legislation that make economic development subsidies accountable; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED:

            That AFSCME endorse positive approaches to economic development, through investment in education, improvements in infrastructure and expanding the availability of quality public services.

 

SUBMITTED BY:
Danny Donohue, President and Delegate
Denise Berkley, Secretary and Delegate
CSEA/AFSCME Local 1000
New York

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