by Max Brantley
A grassroots group has put together an evaluation of how well each state discloses taxpayer handouts to businesses. Here's the report.
Does it surprise you to learn that Arkansas gets a grade of F on its transparency about corporate welfare? Not me. It's the embedded view of Arkansas officialdom that it is none of the people's business about how much tax money is passed out, how it is spent or the true value received for public investments. Clawbacks when promises aren't met? Forget about that. (See GASCAP, Generally Accepted Stodola/Chamber Accounting Principles.)
Here,the activist group Good Jobs First evaluated 245 key economic development programs and rated the states on reporting of data on subsidy dollar amounts, job creation numbers, wages, locations, ease of access to data and online data access. Using seven main criteria, each state got a grade on a 100-point scale. Arkansas was scored 0 (zero), along with 12 other states and the District of Columbia.