Nevada’s Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) website has been ranked as the most transparent of all state economic development websites in the nation by watchdog group Good Jobs First.
“Transparency has been a key priority since I was appointed to this post by Governor Sisolak,” said Michael Brown, GOED Executive Director. “The team at GOED has done a superb job of enhancing transparency. We will use this report to guide continuous improvement.”
Since January of 2019, the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development has approved abatements for 80 companies. Within five years these companies will add 11,727 jobs and make $2.1 billion in capital investment in the State of Nevada. Over the next ten years these companies will generate more than $1.1 billion in new net tax revenues for our state.
Nevada, Connecticut, and Illinois have the best overall disclosure web pages. Compared to their previous ratings, Nevada, Kansas and South Carolina showed the greatest improvements.
Most states rate poorly on giving advance notice of proposed deals, and only 4% of the 250 programs rated post the full incentive details ahead of a public hearing so that residents can knowledgeably oppose, support or suggest improvements to them.
Those are key findings issued today by the watchdog group Good Jobs First in its sixth such “report card” study. The study, entitled Financial Exposure: Rating the States on Economic Development Transparency, is online at https://www.goodjobsfirst.org/financialexposure.
The study evaluates four or five major economic development incentive programs in each state plus DC, rating them on 23 different variables. It finds that 48 states plus the District of Columbia — or 96% — name at least some corporate recipients online. But of the 250 programs graded, only 62% provide any such deal-specific disclosure. The gap reflects how inconsistent states are in reporting on all their major programs.
The most remarkable improvement over the past eight years is seen in Nevada, where a law enacted in 2015 requires the governor’s economic development office to disclose recipient level data for various tax abatements. As a result, Nevada’s score rose from second to last place in 2014 to first place this year. GOED took additional steps to populate its website with these reports and other materials.
Editor’s Note: Good Jobs First is a non-profit, non-partisan research center promoting accountability in economic development. Founded in 1998 by Greg LeRoy, it is based in Washington DC.
About the Governor’s Office of Economic Development
Created during the 2011 session of the Nevada Legislature, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development is the result of a collaborative effort between the Nevada Legislature and the Governor’s Office to restructure economic development in the state. GOED’s role is to promote a robust, diversified and prosperous economy in Nevada, to stimulate business expansion and retention, encourage entrepreneurial enterprise, attract new businesses and facilitate community development.
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