The passages quoted below are authored by the Democratic mayor of the city of San Jose, California.
(p. A17) Recently, states and cities have been luring companies with subsidies. . . . The commonwealth of Massachusetts and city of Boston brought General Electric headquarters to Beantown with a $145 million incentive deal.
. . .
But my city won’t be offering incentives to Amazon. Why? Because they are a bad deal for taxpayers. With many subsidies, the jobs a company brings to an area don’t generate revenues commensurate with public expenditures. The GE deal will cost taxpayers more than $181,000 for every job created in Boston. Most experts insist that other factors–particularly the presence of a skilled workforce–play a far larger role in determining boardrooms’ corporate location decisions. Moreover, some 95% of Silicon Valley’s job growth comes from new small-business formation and when those homegrown companies develop into larger firms.
. . .
A healthy economic ecosystem that supports innovation and growth is what makes a community attractive to a company like Amazon.
. . .
As elected officials, we would do well to resist ribbon-cutting and take the longer view. To attract innovative employers, let’s all stay in our lanes, create safe and attractive cities for talented people to live in, and clear bureaucratic red tape. In other words: Get out of the way.
For the full commentary, see:
Sam Liccardo. “Why I’m Not Bidding for Amazon’s HQ; San Jose won’t offer subsidies for favored corporations, which are a bad deal for city taxpayers.” The Wall Street Journal (Thurs., Oct. 5, 2017): A17.
(Note: ellipses added.)
(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date Oct. 4, 2017.)