Where do these shenanigans leave local economic developers? To start, we have to ask: why do we have local economic development?
Local residential property taxes alone do not support necessary government services to local residents. Hence, communities seek to attract businesses to help share the expenses for services they and their employees use. If businesses are exempt from all or part of property taxes on land, buildings, inventory and equipment, why try to bring new firms to town or encourage existing firms to expand?
Jobs? Local income taxes are currently minor supplements to local budgets. We would need extraordinary wages and salaries, taxed at much higher rates, to offset the giveaways being set up by the General Assembly.
In addition, many, sometimes, most employees of a company live outside the district where they work. Are we prepared for a complex set of commuter taxes?
Undoubtedly, the legislative study committee set up to find a solution to this problem will file a report. We can only wonder what magic trick they will endorse.
Morton Marcus is an economist, writer, and speaker who may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.