WKU Public Radio News Staff
Thu January 16, 2014
Legislation Seeking to Track Kentucky Economic and Tax Incentives Passes Committee
A bill that would establish a public database of economic development and tax incentives offered in Kentucky has cleared a House committee.
Rep. Larry Clark filed the bill that would require the state’s Economic Development Cabinet to provide information on how much money the state gives to private companies for the purposes of job creation.
“This will track everything," the Louisville Democrat said. "It’ll be accountability, transparency, first for the website, we’ll let the public know how to access everything that’s going on in each cabinet. Secondly, they’ll have to report back to us, and then we can evaluate the return on our investment, what activities goin’ on across the state, and especially how effective we are.”
Clark’s bill would also make public the number of jobs created and wages paid by the project.
The New York Times has reported that over a billion dollars in incentives has been handed out in Kentucky. Currently, the state does not have an official mechanism to account for that.
Nearly $600 million of that annual sum goes toward “energy development” and the coal industry.