Naming and Shaming Corporate Welfare Queens
A mayor in Maine has made the news for wanting to publicly list welfare recipients on the town's website.
I don't share his policy view on this matter, but I would like to see the same "naming and shaming" program applied to corporations who accept public subsidies from municipal government. And I am not alone. My colleague Patrick Ishmael recently wrote about new standards from the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB), In short, the new standards increase the amount of information that local governments have to publicly report about the number and type of tax abatements.
One shortcoming of the new standards is that they do not require localities to list the various subsidies by company. This would be an additional measure of government transparency that localities could adopt on their own through city ordinances. It would tell us which companies are the welfare queens of crony capitalism.