Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "tax cuts" ...

  • Opportunity Zones

    Trump’s only significant legislative achievement was his 2017 tax code overhaul. It contained a provision to help the poor, called “opportunity zones.” In 2019, ProPublica showed that while the benefits to the poor have not yet materialized, some people have already reaped the rewards: the wealthy and politically connected. We found that wealthy developers lobbied government officials and got their long-planned investments in luxury projects included in the program, despite its avowed goal of attracting new investment into poor areas. Critically, two of our stories feature areas that never should have been qualified for the program in the first place, but were allowed in by a deeply flawed implementation of the law by the U.S. Treasury Department. They were then selected by state governors after lobbying efforts by wealthy developers. Our articles, along with those of other outlets, led to Congressional calls for investigations into the designation process, as well as proposed reforms to make the program more transparent and to eliminate potential abuses by investors.
  • Retiree' benefits under fire; Car perks add up for taxpayers; Were city workers' nest eggs too generous?

    The series examined lash perks of government workers in Broward and Palm Beach counties. The stories found that even as local governments cried poverty because of state-mandated tax cuts, they continued to heap generous benefits to public employees - even if it meant imposing tax hikes down the road.
  • Are your property taxes making you say, 'Ouch'?

    The Chicago Sun-Times examines rising property tax assessments and the Cook County Board of Review, who made the tax cuts and "whose three commissioners also solicited nearly $500,000 in campaign donations from attorneys who won cuts for their clients."
  • An Easy Out?

    National Journal looks at controversies surrounding the 13 annual appropriations bills in 2000. The story reveals internal conflicts in the Republican party, resulting from tax cuts and the fiscal belt-tightening that ensued. "The White House even threatened that Bush might veto spending bills written by his own party's congressional majority," the magazine reports. The article examines the spending allocations for the major House and Senate committees and subcommittees.
  • Hands Out: Bush Tax Cuts Send Corporate lobbyists Into a Feeding Frenzy

    The Wall Street Journal examines the competition that the announced tax cuts have kindled among lobbyists in Washington. The reporters find that, "eager to enlarge their share, competing business blocs nay set off bidding war." The story sheds light on the effort of some of the biggest U.S. companies to "unify around one or two big cuts to get the largest possible share," and finds that "unity among disparate corporate interests is so far proving harder than business leaders would like." The story includes a sidebar with information about the top five donors to the House Ways and Means Committee members, as well as to the Senate Finance Committee members.
  • Colored by Numbers

    National Journal focuses on how "government budget forecasters offer various scenarios, both rosy and gloomy, but few ever hit the marks." The report finds that "despite all of the partisan rancor over tax cuts - or perhaps because of it - one thing seems certain: Ten-year budgets and the estimates they're based on are coming in for a good deal of scrutiny." The story looks at the political debate on government spending and projected tax cuts and exposes the fallibility of the forecasts prepared by the Congressional Budget Office. The author draws the conclusion that "budgetary restraint - in short enough supply, even during an epoch of deficits - may be entirely out of stock in an era boasting any surpluses at all."
  • Corporate Carpetbaggers

    While San Francisco's biggest businesses complain about the local "business climate" and demand tax cuts at City Hall, many have already incorporated in other states to save themselves millions of dollars that could have helped fund city services. (May 1, 1996)
  • Tax Tribunal Often Sides with Upset Home Owners, Big Business Win Appeals for Tax cuts, and Township Between Rocks, Hard Place

    The Detroit Free Press investigates the Michigan Tax Tribunal, which rules on appeals of property tax assessments by homeowners and businesses. The Free Press analyzes the Tribunal decisions establishing a record and pattern of its rulings regarding homeowner appeals. Three separate stories.
  • (Untitled)

    Ann Arbor News investigates questionable hardship property tax cuts in the city of Ann Arbor; many of those tax cuts go to homeowners that most people would not term hard up, Nov. 18, 1990.
  • (Untitled)

    Washington Monthly details General Motors' efforts to sue cities in Michigan, Ohio and New York for dramatic cuts in property tax payments; GM's demanding reduced taxes as part of its efforts to battle its shrinking market share.