Stuck-on-Stupid ‘Economic Development’

Albuquerque Economic Development, a “private” organization, is receiving $80,000 from city taxpayers to hire CBRE Consulting’s John Rocca. The Southern Californian will be charged with finding “50 qualified companies interested in expansion or relocation,” and arranging “for AED to be in one-on-one meetings with those firms,” president and CEO Gary Tonjes told Albuquerque Business First.

It’s more of the same — government picking winners and losers, rather than lowering the tax burden, enacting regulatory relief, passing a right-to-work law, and promoting a more capable workforce through school choice.

Elsewhere, doubts about states’ giveaways to businesses are growing. Oklahoma’s governor recently signed legislation “to sort out effective incentives from ineffective ones.” While not an elimination of corporate welfare, it’s an acknowledgement that oversight is long overdue.

As for film-production freebies, many states — including Michigan, Louisiana, Florida, Texas, and Massachusetts — are rethinking handouts to Hollywood. Don’t look for New Mexico to join the club.

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2 Replies to “Stuck-on-Stupid ‘Economic Development’”

  1. I personally witnessed Eastern Idaho try a variant of this strategy for some 5+ years, via the Regional Development Corporation, 2002-2007. Occasionally, they’d find an interested party by phone or ad or mailer, then schedule a personal visit in quarterly trips, mainly to Southern California. Some of their funding came directly from DOE-downsizing “3161 funds”, but did not include any relocation incentive funds that had to be specifically allocated on an ad hoc basis by the state, inasmuch as Idaho (unlike NM) is not a constitutional home-rule state. It’s my recollection they landed less than a half-dozen small “lifestyle” businesses, employing a minimum number, many of which the owners groused later at Idaho’s unusually high personal income taxes. The RDC actually had a better track record helping local tech & non-tech firms expand by vigorously scrubbing all their business assumptions, helping them to achieve a higher “take-off” level. Many more successes with this approach. AED would do well with its $80,000 to study how NM could use its ~$20+ billion oil & gas “permanent fund” to cut all income taxes, business & personal, to zero in a methodical manner.

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