State Business Tax Incentives: Examining Evidence of their Effectiveness
State governments commonly use business tax credits to promote economic development. Whether these incentives are successful at generating new economic activity—and whether they do so in a cost-effective manner—are important concerns, particularly in times of fiscal and economic stress.
At this forum, new research by the New England Public Policy Center exploring the use and effectiveness of selected business tax credits was released. A panel of national and regional experts responded to Center author Jennifer Weiner’s summary remarks.
Agenda & Presentations
|8:00 am||Registration and continental breakfast|
Welcome and introduction
Presentation of new NEPPC discussion paper: “State Business Tax Incentives: Examining Evidence of their Effectiveness”
Responses from a panel of national and regional experts
Robert Tannenwald (Moderator)
|10:05 am||Questions from the audience|
|10:25 am||Closing remarks by panel moderator|
Timothy Bartik is a Senior Economist with W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. His research focuses on state and local economic development policies, local labor markets, and urban poverty. Dr. Bartik's publications include a 1991 book, Who Benefits from State and Local Economic Development Policies?, and a 2001 book, Jobs for the Poor, as well as numerous academic articles on business incentives and the evaluation of state and local economic development policies. He is co-editor of Economic Development Quarterly, a scholarly journal focused on U.S. economic development policies. Prior to joining the Upjohn Institute in 1989 he was Assistant Professor of Economics at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Bartik received his B.A. in Political Philosophy from Yale University and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Lynn Browne is Executive Vice President and Economic Advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. She is responsible for the Bank’s regional and community outreach, as well as public information and employee communications. An economist, Dr. Browne was the Bank’s Director of Research from 1993 to 2001 and oversaw the Bank’s scholarly research and monetary policy analysis. Her personal research interests include a strong focus on economic growth and development in New England. Dr. Browne received a B.A. in economics from the University of Western Ontario and a Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Peter Enrich is a Professor of Law at Northeastern University School of Law. Prior to holding this position, he served as the General Counsel and the Counsel for Revenue Policy to the Massachusetts Executive Office for Administration and Finance. Professor Enrich teaches Contracts, State and Local Taxation, State and Local Government, and Legal Skills in Social Context. His research has focused on analyzing state business tax incentives and their constitutionality. Professor Enrich received his B.A. in Philosophy from Yale University and his J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Richard Lord is President and Chief Executive Officer of Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM). Before becoming President and CEO, Mr. Lord served as Executive Vice President for Legislative Policy for AIM, where he was in charge of economic development and taxation. Prior to working at AIM, Mr. Lord worked for the Committee on Ways and Means of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, where he served as Chief of Staff and Budget Director. Mr. Lord received his B.A. in Psychology and Economics from Williams College.
Robert Tannenwald is a Vice President and Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston as well as Director of the New England Public Policy Center. Dr. Tannenwald has published extensively in the field of public finance, including topics such as devolution, unemployment insurance, the business tax climate, and the impacts of state and local tax policies. Previously, he served as Executive Director of the Massachusetts Special Commission on Tax Reform and Research Director of the Massachusetts Special Commission on Business Tax Policy. Dr. Tannenwald was also President of the National Tax Association in 2007. He received a B.A. from Dartmouth College and a Ph.D. from Harvard University.
Jennifer Weiner is a Policy Analyst at the New England Public Policy Center at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston where she focuses on issues of state and local public finance. Prior to joining the Center, Ms. Weiner performed health economics and outcomes research for a Boston-based consulting firm and conducted policy analyses for the Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy. She received a B.A. in economics from Bates College and a master’s degree in public affairs from Princeton University.
Richard Woodbury is an economist and administrator with the program on aging at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). He is a former Representative in the Maine State Legislature, where he chaired the Tax Committee as well as the Joint Select Committee on Property Tax Reform. Dr. Woodbury’s academic work has focused on the implications of population aging and on the design of public and private retirement policies. He is currently a Visiting Scholar at the New England Public Policy Center. Dr. Woodbury is a graduate of Williams College and received a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.
Timothy J. Bartik, Who Benefits from State and Local Economic Development Policies? Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, 1991.
Timothy J. Bartik, “Discussion,” New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, 1997.
Timothy J. Bartik, “Solving the Problems of Economic Development Incentives,” Growth and Change, 36(2), 2005.
Peter D. Enrich. “Saving the States from Themselves: Commerce Clause Constraints on State Tax Incentives for Business,” Harvard Law Review, December 1996.
Ernst & Young, “The Economic and Fiscal Effects of the Massachusetts Investment Tax Credit,” AIM Foundation, April 2003.
Ernst & Young, “The Economic and Fiscal Effects of the Massachusetts Research Credit,” AIM Foundation, August 2003.
Ross Gittell and Edinaldo Tebaldi, “Are Research and Development Tax Credits Effective? The Economic Impacts of an R&D Tax Credit in New Hampshire,” Public Finance and Management, 8(1) (2008).
William F. Lott and Stan McMillen, “The Economic Impact of Connecticut’s Corporate Tax Policy Changes: 1995–2012,” Storrs: Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis, University of Connecticut, December 2005.
Massachusetts Department of Revenue, “A Report on the Massachusetts Film Industry Tax Incentives,” Boston, March 2008.
Massachusetts Department of Revenue, “Letter to Representative Steven D’Amico,” Boston, May 19, 2008.
Massachusetts Department of Revenue, “A Report on the Massachusetts Film Industry Tax Incentives,” Boston, July 2009.
Stanley McMillen, Kathryn Parr, and Troy Helming, “The Economic and Fiscal Impacts of Connecticut’s Film Tax Credit,” Hartford: Department of Economic and Community Development, February 2008.
Vermont Economic Progress Council and Vermont Department of Taxes, “Vermont Employment Growth Incentive Program 2008 Annual Report,” Montpelier, 2008.
Jennifer Weiner, “Memorandum re: Cost-Benefit Analysis of Connecticut’s Film Tax Credit," Boston: New England Public Policy Center, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, January 19, 2009.
Jennifer Weiner, “Memorandum re: Ernst & Young Analyses of New Mexico and New York Film Tax Credits,” Boston: New England Public Policy Center, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, April 2, 2009.
Robert Whelan and Alec Josephson, “An Economic Impact and Rate of Return Analysis of the Film and Video Industry in Maine,” Portland, OR: ECONorthwest, June 2008.
Rhode Island Department of Revenue. “A Macro Analysis of the Return on Investment of the Rhode Island Motion Picture Production Tax Credits.” Providence: 2008.