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    Entries in business (9)


    Privatization May Be Worsening Inequality

    A new study suggests outsourcing government services can disproportionately impact low-income users' finances, health and safety.

    BY  OCTOBER 13, 2016

    As state and local governments grapple with fewer resources for things like infrastructure or social services, many of them have opted to contract those responsibilities out to the private sector. But a new report warns that doing so may be widening the gap between the haves and the have-nots.

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    The Fight for Jobs Intensifies Between Kansas and Missouri

    Nowhere are tax incentives more complicated -- and some say pointless -- than in Kansas City.
    BY  MAY 12, 2016

    In major metropolitan areas, using tax incentives to lure businesses from one part of the region to another can sometimes seem like a big family fight. In the Washington, D.C., area, for instance, several jurisdictions are vying to become the new headquarters of the FBI, which is currently located in the district. If the FBI moves outside of D.C., Maryland or Virginia can claim "new" jobs. But the net gain to the metro area is negligible, save the temporary work created by new construction.

    In nowhere does this chess match seem more futile than in Kansas City, which sits in both Kansas and Missouri. The two states have long competed with each other to woo businesses across the state line. AMC Theaters, Applebee's and JP Morgan Retirement are just a few businesses that have crossed the border in recent times. So much money is involved that the tax incentives battle has been dubbed the Kansas City Border War.

    But recently there's been a concerted effort to call a cease fire. In 2014, the Missouri General Assembly passed a bill that effectively ended the state's tax incentive program in Kansas City after a group of 17 businesses in the two-state region lobbied both governors for it. For the law to go into effect, though, Kansas has to approve a similar bill. The state has until Aug. 28 to do so; otherwise, the "deal" is dead.

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    Panama Papers Unlikely to Lead to Reforms in Corporation-Friendly States

    A recent document leak revealed that four states were targeted by a Panamanian law firm to hide assets.
    BY  APRIL 13, 2016

    States like Delaware and Nevada have long been criticized by transparency advocates for allowing Americans to use them as tax havens. But a recent document leak revealed that such corporation-friendly states may be helping foreign nationals hide potentially illicit assets as well.

    Earlier this month, 11.5 million confidential documents were leaked from a Panamanian law firm, exposing how some of the world's richest people hide assets in shell companies to avoid paying taxes. It’s the largest leak in history, and among the so-called Panama Papers' many revelations was that the seventh most popular place to set up shell corporations was in Nevada.

    More than 1,000 companies have used Nevada to hide their money. Delaware, South Dakota and Wyoming also emerged as popular places to stash cash.

    Some of these states actively market themselves as quick and easy places to set up corporations. Take Nevada. Its website points visitors to its WhyNevada.Com to find out “why NV ranks as a top state for commercial filings," highlighting its favorable tax structure. Meanwhile, Delaware’s most recent financial report touted another record year for the number of new entities registered in the state. Delaware’s 1.1 million registered corporations outnumber the people who actually live there.

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    The Complicated Business of Evaluating Tax Incentives

    Massachusetts, like many states, uses tax credits to attract companies. But also like many states, it struggles to track the effectiveness of these programs.
    BY  FEBRUARY 25, 2016

    States give out billions to businesses and corporations each year in tax breaks to keep them within their borders. But tracking how these tax incentives are spent -- and whether they even work -- has been an incredibly tricky business.

    Back in 2000, Good Jobs First, which follows corporate tax subsidies, released a report that looked at 122 audits of state economic development programs in 44 states. What it found was that auditors were having trouble doing their jobs because "they are hampered by lack of data and objectives."

    The climate has improved somewhat since then, says the group's president, Greg LeRoy. But it's been a long, state-by-state slog.

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    A slowdown in slowpitch softball sponsorships in Maryland

    The Daily Record (Baltimore, MD) September 2, 2010
     By Liz Farmer
    Daily Record Business Writer
    It's a rare night during the early summer if the outdoor patio at Clyte Franklin Jr. 's Angle Inn restaurant and bar isn't jammed with men and women wearing dirty softball jerseys and recapping the latest game-changing plays and close calls.

    Softball is practically a way of life at the 50-year-old Dundalk establishment. Inside, towering trophies glint in the low-lit bar, and display cases packed with photos and team memorabilia recall dozens of memories. The collection is a mere sampling from the many teams Franklin's business has sponsored over the last four decades, a business expense he simply calls his "sports program. "

    Angle Inn sponsors 14 softball teams spanning all levels of play, from a senior's league team to highly competitive men's slowpitch teams. Although he doesn't like to say so, each year Franklin spends between $75,000 and $100,000 sponsoring the softball teams, a kickball league team and a bowling league.

    "That sounds like bragging," Franklin, 66, said. "It doesn't suit me well. "

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