All posts by Sarah Gutschow

C2ER Blog Post 11.10.15 State of State

State of State Business Incentives 2015

C2ER recently completed its annual update of the State Business Incentives Database. As part of the database review process, C2ER researched every U.S. state and territory to ascertain information on what programs have been created, repealed or altered during each state’s most recent legislative sessions. Based on this research, combined with extensive outreach to representatives in every state and territory, the Database now reflects the present status of the more than 1,900 state business incentives in operation around the country.

The State of State Business Incentives 2015 report summarizes the findings from this review. Most striking is the overall growth in the number of state business incentive programs. Since the new millennium, the overall number of state incentive programs targeted to businesses has more than doubled, from less than one thousand in 1999 to nearly two thousand today. The report takes a closer look at the different types and purposes of business incentive programs administered by states and how state incentive portfolios have changed over the past few years in response to recent economic trends, with notable examples of recent state incentive activity.

Expendituresmap14

State Economic Development Program Expenditures: FY2014-FY2016 Update

The Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) has updated its State Economic Development Program Expenditures Database as part of a continuous effort to track investments in economic development across all fifty states. The database now includes all Governor Recommended Budgets for fiscal year 2016. Read the full report on this update here.

Expenditures14

According to the Database, in FY2016 U.S. states are collectively proposing to spend $6.97 billion on economic development investments, representing a slight dip from FY2015 spending levels. In FY2015, states appropriated $7.05 billion for economic development, which was a 7 percent increase over actual economic development spending of $6.65 billion in FY14. Continue reading

Outstanding evaluation.  Red pen on evaluation, with "outstanding" checked.

Good Programs Destroyed by Bad Evaluations

This is a guest blog post by Dr. Catherine Searle Renault, Principal and Owner of Innovation Policyworks LLC, and Research Fellow at the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness, where she specializes in evaluation research. 

Who can argue with the importance of understanding whether or not taxpayer dollars are being used effectively to meet agreed upon policy goals like economic growth? Across the country, the concept of regularly evaluating economic development incentives, including those implemented as tax credits, is broadly accepted. The devil, however, is in the details. The best evaluations follow recognized policy evaluation and data analysis methodologies and principles.

In Oklahoma and Maryland, the statutory evaluation is in the hands of evaluation professionals in the economic development agencies, rather than being delegated to a watchdog or audit organization, as is proposed in some states. This ensures that the evaluations are credible and professionally done, and actually answer the questions that the legislatures and the public have. Continue reading

C2ER Blog Post 5.06.15 Picture

New State Business Incentives Glossary

Users of the C2ER State Business Incentives Database have a new resource for understanding some of the tricky terminology used to describe state business incentives. The Database now features a full Glossary with information on every term utilized in the Database.

The Glossary provides information on the most commonly used terms used to describe state business incentives. Researchers can turn to this resource to find more information about different types of incentives, the various business needs fulfilled by incentives, and the statutory and fiscal background of programs. The Glossary also gives more insight into how C2ER researchers decide which incentive programs to include in the Database. Continue reading

selectusalogo

C2ER Partners with SelectUSA

C2ER and SelectUSA have entered into a partnership to make some features of the State Business Incentives Database publicly available through SelectUSA.gov. SelectUSA is an initiative housed in the U.S. Department of Commerce that was established to attract and retain investment in the American economy. This initiative provides investors with information on accessing federal and state programs and services related to business investment. Continue reading

MN_banner

The Clean Energy & Economic Development Nexus

This is a guest blog post by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). For comments or questions, please e-mail Weston Merrick, Economic Analyst at DEED.

In the past few months, the EPA’s proposed rules change and the U.N. Climate Change summit have brought renewed focus to the nation’s energy mix. These conversations generally center on the high economic cost of abandoning fossil fuels, but what goes unsaid is the massive energy void clean sources will likely fill.

Clean Energy offers states abundant, reliable, and increasingly cost effective sources of energy. For states without fossil fuels, it allows them to replace energy imports with local production. Moreover, this local production tends to create stable, high-paying jobs. Some states and regions have begun to grasp this latent opportunity and are working to identify and cultivate clean energy employment and industry clusters. Continue reading

Information-overload

Simplifying Data Overload Using Indicators

At the 2014 Association of Public Data Users (APDU) Conference, held on September 16th and 17th in Arlington, VA, the session “Simplifying Data Overload Using Indicators” explored how a wide variety of organizations are working to make data more accessible to lay users. These organizations are accomplishing this by making data “human readable” through synthesizing variables into measures that have context. Continue reading

APDU-2014-Annual-Conference-490x260

Take Part in the Data Revolution at the APDU Annual Conference

The Association of Public Data Users (APDU) Annual Conference will take place on September 16-17 in Arlington, VA. Almost 200 thought leaders from educational institutions; the business community; and federal, state and local governments will be attending this annual event. Many of the panel discussions, breakout sessions, and “lightning” talks will address topics of major importance to the C2ER audience. Continue reading

alba

Upcoming Applied Analyst Training in Montgomery, AL

The LMI Institute and C2ER are offering an opportunity for researchers to stretch their analytical muscles by participating in the two and half day advanced analyst training session in Montgomery, AL. This workshop, which will be held September 23rd to 25th, will teach skills in the analysis of regional economic and labor market data through hands-on application. Continue reading

logo

Managing Data Challenges

This post originally appeared on the Smart Incentives blog, written by CREC Senior Research Fellow, Ellen Harpel.

Data is one of the key elements of the Smart Incentives 4×4 framework that enables communities to make sound investment decisions. Unfortunately, good data on how well incentive programs work is often lacking. This lack of data hinders both economic development professionals in their day-to-day work and policymakers in their leadership and oversight roles. Continue reading