The Governor has proposed an amendment to the budget that would reinstate the full reporting requirements that go along with this important piece of government transparency and accountability. This amendment ensures that the Legislature and the general public know how refundable or transferable tax credit programs – in other words our tax dollars – are working in terms of jobs created and economic development.
The state currently has no accountability as to the cost effectiveness of these tax credits or their success in meeting intended public policy benefits. It is only fair to expect that businesses utilizing these specific tax grants for public purposes be asked to show the results of the taxpayer dollars they have received, which is exactly what the tax credit transparency provision was intended to do.
The ability to see how government uses ALL public funds is fundamental to democracy. Increasing budget transparency promotes efficiency, discourages waste and provides a check on corruption. While the Governor’s signing of the Ethics bill today is a strong effort to rebuild the public’s trust in state government, it is only the first step. We believe that these commonsense reforms are an essential part of regaining that trust.
We have asked our legislative colleagues to join us in supporting the Governor’s amendment, and we hope that members of the BMG community will as well.
Representative Carl Sciortino & Senator Jamie Eldridge