by Jess Fields
Texas Public Policy Foundation
February 11, 2014
The use of economic development programs is widespread in Texas, with local governments frequently offering direct incentives to outside firms to relocate. Localities and businesses alike are enticed by policies that allow for special deals to be negotiated in secret. As the popularity of these policies has grown over time, so too have the number of businesses benefiting from them, and the fierce competition that has caused more local governments to offer incentives to small firms. The public has become increasingly wary of “crony capitalism,” and it is well past time that a serious discussion about the efficacy, transparency, and accountability of Texas local governments’ economic development policies was begun.

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