Tags : taxes

Analysis shows shortcomings in N.J. tax incentives

When states suffered severe job losses during the recession, many responded by pouring money into tax incentive programs.

Most states offer a litany of incentives targeted for different types of companies. Some are meant to lure employers from neighboring jurisdictions, while others fund expansions of existing businesses.

Our story focused on New Jersey, which had recently issued multiple high-profile awards.

The data analysis attempted to answer two questions. First, we needed to gauge the extent to which the state increased its tax incentive awards. I also wanted to examine how the deals played out and whether any companies later cut ...

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Investigating tax credits, subsidies and incentives

By Zachary Matson

Each year local and state governments provide private companies with billions of dollars of tax credits, subsidies and other forms of incentives to mover or open new facilities in their communities. These deals are shrouded behind layers of quasi-public agencies, weak disclosure rules and secretive businesses, but rarely the economic benefits turn out as originally billed.

IRE board president and columnist David Cay Johnston and Greg LeRoy of Good Jobs First provided insights into exploring these deals and their true costs to the public on a panel at the recent IRE Conference in San Antonio.

Johnston said ...

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In the name of charity: Investigating nonprofits

By Gwen Girsdansky

Investigating a nonprofit often boils down to checking whether it is keeping its promises.

What was the original mission statement when the nonprofit submitted its required tax form (known as the 990) to the Internal Revenue Service? Kendall Taggart from The Center for Investigative Reporting and Kris Hundley from the Tampa Bay Times, who recently reported the project “America’s Worst Charities”, said that some of the best nonprofit stories show how an organization hasn’t folloiwed through on its mission.

Beyond tax forms, other helpful practices include keeping track of press releases, emails and letters from ...

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ICIJ discusses offshore project for broad-ranging audience

IRE hosted a Google Hangout on Tuesday with members of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, who discussed their ongoing investigation into offshore banking secrets. The reporting began with a leaked cache of 2.5 million records, and has since involved -- at last count -- 86 journalist in 47 countries.

Viewers from all over the world tuned in to learn more about ICIJ's project. Cities with live viewers included Chicago, London, Madrid, Narpes in Finland, New York and San Diego.

In a discussion moderated by Wendell Cochran, former IRE board member and Senior Editor of the Investigative Reporting Workshop, the ...

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Assessor data key to probe of TN ag tax break

Last spring, investigative reporter Marc Perrusquia and I started poking around in the Shelby County Assessor's Office online database of property records, looking at properties owned by developers and local wealthy families that had “Greenbelt” designation.

The “Greenbelt Law” was devised decades ago to curb encroaching development by protecting farms, forests and open spaces from rising property values. The law allows undeveloped property to be assessed at a low “use” value rather than a generally rising market value. It was designed to keep farmers from being priced off their land.

Assessments work like this: The total appraisal of a ...

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