Commentary

08/08/2014  by Alexandra Bjerg

Reader Poll: Your thoughts on tax incentives as economic drivers?


Lockheed Martin's F-117 Nighthawk, aka the Stealth Bomber (photo: Wikipedia)

It’s hard to understand why someone would want to live anywhere but in California. But the sunshine that keeps many of us from leaving the state doesn’t keep the climate warm enough to stop businesses from fleeing. In fact, other states have been ramping up efforts to lure businesses away from California. Faced with growing competition, state lawmakers are leveraging financial and regulatory incentives to keep well-paying jobs here.

A bill aimed at curbing runaway production hopes to receive two thumbs up from the Senate Appropriations Committee on Monday, allowing it to advance to the Senate floor. California’s film industry generates $17 billion a year and has been losing jobs to other states and countries for several years. The legislation would expand California's Film and Television Production tax credit program, in an effort to reverse this trend.

Earlier this year, the Legislature approved a $420 million tax break for aerospace giants Lockheed Martin Corp. and Boeing, as an incentive to manufacture stealth bombers in California.

[What's nearly invisible but bigger than California's agriculture and entertainment industries combined? The state’s aerospace industry.]

State and local governments often use tax incentives like those mentioned above to attract or retain existing businesses and create jobs. Some critics argue selective tax breaks are unfair and that overhauling the tax system would foster economic growth and job creation while benefiting all businesses. Others believe alternative economic development strategies, such as investing in workforce development, infrastructure, and research and development, are more effective.

What do you think?

To view results from previous polls, click here.

Categories: Economy, Creating Jobs, Reader Poll

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