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INN Friends Present: Covering Corporate Welfare: New Rule, New Tools, Loads of Data
February 22, 2017 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm UTC-5
Putting a Price Tag on Economic Development Subsidies
Good Jobs First, a non-profit source to many investigative reporters on the jobs beat, has two powerful databases up and running and a third launching this spring that collectively will reshape reporting on "corporate welfare".
Subsidy Tracker is the only national database of company-specific records from almost 1,000 federal, state and local economic development incentive programs. It associates subsidiary records to ultimate corporate parents and can be sorted by company, state, county, city, and/or program.
Violation Tracker is a newer database that combines 120,000 company-specific records from 39 federal regulatory agencies. It also associates parents with subsidiaries. EPA, OSHA, CFPB, DOJ, FTC, Federal Reserve, SEC and 32 more agencies.
And coming this spring and throughout 2017: An obscure body called the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) is now requiring more than 50,000 local and state governments to report how much revenue they lose to corporate tax breaks. The data will trickle in April and May and fire-hose by the fall as tens of billions of dollars in previously-hidden spending will be revealed. Good Jobs First will explain how the data will flow and who else will be data-wrangling.
Combining the new GASB-mandated data with Good Jobs First’s existing search engines will enable reporters to tell a far fuller story than ever before. Especially at a time when federal aid to schools and cities will be getting cut, the new data may play into budget debates as officials look for ways to sustain public services.
Join Greg LeRoy, Phil Mattera and Scott Klinger of Good Jobs First for an introduction to these powerful tools.
Join us to learn:
- The expected timetable of data releases
- Where to find the data, and how it will or won’t be compiled by states
- Possible ways to use the data in reporting on local government finance
- How the data may figure into expected debates over funding for education and other public services