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PSN on March 25, 2010 - 5:27pm
Dealing with the aftermath of the steepest economic contraction since the Great Depression, including declining tax revenues and massive fiscal gaps, states cannot afford to hand out enormous subsidies, wasteful tax credits or lavish contracts with little to show in return. In response, states across the country have embraced corporate transparency to assure taxpayers are getting value for their money.
2010 started positively with New Jersey's passage of S3153, which requires the Governor to include a tax expenditure report in the annual budget address. The bill's main sponsor, Sen. Barbara Buono commented, “This new law will make sure that when reviewing the State’s annual budget, we have all the information we need to put together a complete profile of expenditures."
Lawmakers nationwide have introduced comprehensive reporting of subsidy allocation, contract distribution, tax expenditures, and corporate taxation trends similar to PSN's model legislation, including: Arizona Rep. Thomas Chabin (HB2325), Hawaii Sen. Les Ihara Jr. and Rep. Roy Takumi (SB2868/HB2750), and Vermont Rep. Suzi Wizowaty (H.748) and Rep. Floyd Nease (H.723).
A strong bill with significant momentum is Colorado Sen. Morgan Carroll and Rep. Sal Pace's HB1350, which requires any entity that receives public funds for the purpose of economic development to file an annual report to the Colorado economic development commission on jobs created, wages paid, and other important categories. If the state finds that a recipient of an economic incentive has not complied with requirements, it has the authority to recapture any public money expended on the economic incentive. Other strong initiatives include Alabama Rep. Patricia Todd's HB514, California Sen. Dean Florez's SB1086, Massachusetts Rep. Steve D'Amico's H333, and Washington Rep. Bob Hasegawa's HB2110.
To view a full map of corporate transparency bills moving in the states, please click the map above, or click here.
For model legislation, talking points, analysis of recent cases, ideas for messaging, a list of allies, and reports on the subject, please visit our Corporate Transparency in State Budgets campaign page.