Delaware General Assembly
For immediate release:
January 29, 2020
Representatives Kowalko and Baumbach File Delaware Bill to Phase Out Corporate Giveaways
Legislators from around the country are unveiling a national bipartisan campaign to phase out corporate giveaways by establishing an interstate compact. This bold proposal seeks to liberate states from feeling like the have to participate in subsidy battles with other states, like the AmazonHQ2 process last year, by having states join together.
As of Tuesday, the legislation is filed in Delaware, New York, Hawaii, Florida, Illinois, West Virginia, and New Hampshire.
On Tuesday, the New Hampshire bill will be heard in the House Ways and Means Committee, marking the first time the concept has earned a committee hearing. The legislation would bring each state into a formal agreement with other states to Phase Out Corporate Giveaways. There are two main provisions of the agreement. First, member states agree to end the practice of offering tax breaks to a facility located in another member state as an inducement to the company to move. Second, member states participate in a national board of appointees to discuss and propose enhancements to the existing agreement for future consideration by each state.
“Giving companies state tax money in return for promises of jobs is terrible public policy. It merely feeds into the rat race that encourages companies to squeeze states for more and more tax dollars, rather than to spend those tax dollars for things like roads and schools which benefit everyone in our state,” said Rep. Paul Baumbach, co-prime House sponsor of House Bill 288.
“However, a state cannot unilaterally leave the rat race, since ‘everyone else is doing it.’ This legislation enables Delaware to join a club, so we won’t have to spend Delaware tax dollars to raid companies from states in the club, but also to free Delaware from states in that club from raiding Delaware companies.”
“It’s finally time to liberate taxpayers from the extortionate demands companies place on them. Pay up, they say, or we will leave. This bill and this movement will allow elected officials collectively to finally say no more,” said Rep. John Kowalko, co-prime House sponsor of HB 288.
A similar bipartisan agreement among the governors of Missouri and Kansas reached over the summer to end corporate giveaways for companies moving within their shared Kansas City region demonstrates the shifting winds on using company-specific subsidies as an economic development policy.
Please visit EndTaxGiveaways.org for links to the legislation in other states as well as the names of legislators who are supporting the effort.