Tag Archives: economic development

Fargo Theatre. David Samson / The Forum

Jason Flohrs: You’re Paying for Private Business Development

Jason Flohrs: You’re Paying for Private Business Development

When it comes to where we live, there are few things more exciting than an announcement of a new business coming to town. Not only do we get the delicious delicacies of a new restaurant or the latest fashion of a new clothing store, but it’s also validation that the place we chose to live is

“The Pioneer Family” stands in front of the North Dakota State Capitol on July 14, 2016, in Bismarck. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

Audio: Lawmaker Says There Has Been Little Accountability for North Dakota’s Economic Development Programs

“I was amazed at how many incentives are on the books,” state Rep. Jason Dockter told me yesterday during an interview on my radio show (audio below). Dockter chairs the Legislature’s interim Political Subdivisions Taxation Committee which was tasked by legislation from the 2015 session with reviewing the state’s economic development incentives. When the new

Controversy Over Fargo’s FedEx Tax Break Shows Need for Reforming Economic Incentives

Last night Fargo City Commissioner Tony Gehrig lost his push to rescind over $600,000 in property tax incentives granted to parcel delivery giant FedEx after the company announced they were moving some of their operations to that city from Grand Forks. Gehrig may have lost that vote, but the last laugh may yet be his. When Gehrig got

A Fedex driver delivers packages in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. June 15, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Ban Tax Breaks for Businesses Moving Within the State

“Lawmakers should ban incentives for companies that move from one North Dakota community to another—because when it comes to within-the-state shifts, incentives always wind up with this result: Taxpayers lose,” writes Tom Dennis in an editorial for the Grand Forks Herald today. He’s right. What he’s referencing is a tax exemption given to FedEx which is

Business Models Based On Harvesting Tax Dollars Don't Often Succeed

It seems that a cornerstone of modern economic thinking is the idea that local governments – counties, cities, states, etc. – should be in the business of bribing businesses to come into their area. Things like special tax exemptions, taxpayer-backed financing, and even outright gifts from the public treasury are a common theme in these

From The Left: There Is Still A Place For Economic Development In North Dakota

It is obvious to everybody that the state of North Dakota has a very healthy economy right now. Our unemployment is about 1/3 of the national average and we have tens of thousands of job openings.  We currently have a state that has seen the North Dakota Office of Management and Budget’s underestimate the size

Report: ND ranks low in transparency for economic-development programs

BISMARCK, N.D. — State economic development programs got one of the worst ratings in the nation, according to a new report from Good Jobs First, which describes itself as “a national policy resource center for grassroots groups and public officials, promoting corporate and government accountability in economic development and smart growth for working families. ”

Jamestown Chamber Of Commerce Members Oppose Subsidies For Big Box Retail

“This town blocked a Walmart — and it was a victory for economic liberty,” read the headline for a Tim Carney column at the Washington Examiner. Carney’s column describes a town in Missouri that decided not to dole out economic development favors for Walmart. “If you want to buy and develop property that exists, you

Grand Forks City Councilman Accused Of Voting Special Favors To His Clients

Most of us think as government as a sort of referee. We live in a free society that has rules, and the government is in charge of enforcing those rules. We live, we work. We start businesses and compete, and the government is a neutral entity in our lives applying the law equally to all.

Fomer ND Gov: Marketplace Fairness Act Is First Step To Federal Sales Tax

North Dakota occupies a unique position in the debate over the so-called Marketplace Fairness Act, which would allow states to apply their sales and use taxes to online retailers. It was the Quill vs. North Dakota, a Supreme Court case litigated by then-Tax Commissioner Heidi Heitkamp and Attorney General Nick Spaeth, which set the current

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