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As Companies Seek Tax Deals, Governments Pay High Price - NYTimes.com


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One township, Ypsilanti, Mich., is suing over the automaker’s departure. “You can’t just make these promises and throw them around like they’re spare change in the drawer,” said Doug Winters, the township’s attorney.

Yet across the country, companies have been doing just that. And the giveaways are adding up to a gigantic bill for taxpayers.

A Times investigation has examined and tallied thousands of local incentives granted nationwide and has found that states, counties and cities are giving up more than $80 billion each year to companies. The beneficiaries come from virtually every corner of the corporate world, encompassing oil and coal conglomerates, technology and entertainment companies, banks and big-box retail chains.

Companies know how to work governments for subsidies.

I wish citizens were as good at it, too! 

Those abandoned factories would be amazing playhouses/skate parks/ et. al

Perhaps the companies could engender goodwill if they transformed the abandoned factories into some sort of community project. 

That being said, companies have no economic incentive to do the "right thing."

Twitter had a great chance to be a community leader by agreeing to stay and pay taxes to the city of SF; instead, they brokered for themselves a sweetheart deal.

All these companies talk about changing the wold; however, they're unwilling to even aim to transform or change the community around them for the better.

Relevant quote: "Twitter was not short on money — it soon received a $300 million investment from a Saudi prince and $800 million from a private consortium. The two received Twitter equity, but San Francisco got a different sort of deal.

The city exempted Twitter from what could total $22 million in payroll taxes, and the company agreed to stay put. The city estimates that Twitter’s work force could grow to 2,600 employees, although the company made no such promise.

A Twitter spokeswoman said the company was “very happy to have been able to stay in San Francisco.” City officials did not respond to inquiries.

Like many places, San Francisco has been cutting its budget. Public parks have lost about $12 million in recent years, though workers at Twitter will not lack for greenery. The company’s plush new office has a rooftop garden with great views and amenities. Enjoying the perks, one employee sent out a tweet: “Tanned on Twitter’s new roof deck this morning as some dude served me smoothie shots. This is real life?”" 

 I've always been of the opinion that special tax treatment by contract violates the Equal Protection Clause.

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