Getting an ROI on State Incentives

States do a poor job of evaluating billions in tax breaks.

State governments in the United States grant billions of dollars’ worth of tax incentives each year to encourage companies to build plants or create jobs, but a recent study suggests policy makers are failing to assess the effectiveness of those tax breaks.

The report released last week by the Pew Center on the States says just 13 states are doing a good job of evaluating their incentives. Twelve states are doing a “mixed” job, Pew says, while the remaining 25, along with the District of Columbia, meet none of the criteria set out in its study.

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