I am pro-taxpayer., pro-responsible growth.
This series answers the question: “How can you be pro-growth and oppose business tax incentives?”
That’s a fair question which has three essential points. This is the second of three posts on the topic. In this first, we saw how government thinks they can pick and choose winners with tax incentives. While every independent study shows incentives don’t work, (which we’ll talk about in the next post), this time we are looking at:
Point 2. Business Tax incentive amounts are arbitrary.
As we saw in Point 1, it’s random which businesses will get tax incentives. Just as egregious, the amount of tax incentive those lucky few get are also completely arbitrary.
Let’s look at an example.
In 2016, the County offered Dougherty Manufacturing $72,000 as an incentive for the creation of 120 new jobs.
That works out to $600 per new job, almost all hired locally.
Now, another business is looking to get $15 million to create just 600 jobs.
I am no math genius, but those numbers are nuts! Why would Volusia County give tax credits of $600 per job to one company while considering tax credit for another company of $25,000 per job? It’s crazy!
And more importantly, it’s not fair to the taxpayers and every other business person who works hard and pays taxes.
Just in that example, the smaller company expects to create 120 new jobs by hiring locally. The other, a BILLION dollar+ business, claims they will bring 600 new jobs- but it’s unclear how many will be filled by current residents.
Let’s see, 120 jobs for $72,000, versus 600 possible jobs for $15,000,000. Hmmm, looks like fuzzy math…
Both are homegrown businesses, so why the wide disparity? Certainly it can’t be based on friendships or who you know… While some would come to that conclusion, the point is that there is not a systematic approach- which could be interpreted as arbitrary at best.
My position: Volusia County government must avoid the appearance of favoritism to any one business. They have a responsibility to all businesses and all taxpayers, not just a few.