Truth in Tax Credit Advertising?
The St. Louis Business Journal reported that Post Holdings Inc. (the cereal company) would get millions in state and local tax incentives. The company could get up to $3.8 million in Missouri Quality Jobs tax credits, and another $20 million from the city of Saint Louis.
Look, we all know that tax credits have a bad track record of success. Quality Jobs tax credits are especially infamous in Saint Louis, because of Liberty Mutual. The company sent pink slips to many of its employees, and told those employees that they could apply for lower-paying jobs. Surprisingly, the Missouri Department of Economic Development said that Liberty Mutual remained eligible for the tax credits.
But today, I’d like to commend the creative designer who created the Business Journal graphic below. At first, it may seem like an ordinary cereal box. But, instead of the usual commercial claims, this cereal box proclaims that it is “Packed with $20 million in industrial revenue bonds,” and “INSIDE: $3.8 million in tax credits.”
I only wish that the designer had incorporated some fine print. Perhaps: “Job creation numbers have not been verified. Up to $20 million in bonds may be used for the project, which may not be good for the city of Saint Louis’ financial health.”