Thomas J. Stringer, Esq., Managing Director & Practice Leader, Site Selection and Business Incentives Group, BDO USA (Feb/Mar 10)
Despite nearly two years of recession, a global credit crisis for the record books and massive federal, state and local budget deficits, business incentives are as viable and important as ever. In past cycles of economic distress the first casualty of budget cuts and falling tax revenues always seemed to be federal state and local incentive programs. Legislative and executive officials always looked first to trim or eliminate entirely both statutory and discretionary economic development programs in an attempt to close budget gaps and stop the revenue bleeding until better times emerged and the programs could come back on line. Historically, elected officials often treated investments in economic development programs as a luxury item reserved for times of plenty rather than a household necessity on which a jurisdiction's tax base could be secured and cultivated.