Three non-profit watchdog groups today lauded New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer for being the first government officer in the United States to comply with a new accounting rule requiring the disclosure of how much revenue is lost to corporate tax breaks given for economic development. More than 50,000 state and local government bodies are expected to issue such data over the next two years.
Imagine if your employer refused to say what’s being deducted from your paycheck, or your bank declined to reveal what’s automatically withdrawn from your account.
That’s the situation for Washingtonians trying to figure how much state revenue is given up through myriad tax breaks.
Some of these tax breaks are important for economic development. But the public and lawmakers must know their costs to decide if they’re worthwhile investments.