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Economic Development Agencies / Indiana Economic Development Corp. / Government & Economic Development / Economic Development

Keeping wage figures secret

December 8, 2009

The Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne has written about an issue that Indianapolis Business Journal and perhaps other news organizations in the state have grappled with in reporting on economic development, namely whether the state is obligated to divulge wage figures when offering tax breaks to businesses. Read the story here.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. makes a practice of withholding wage figures, arguing that to disclose them would put the companies at a competitive disadvantage.

The flip side of the coin is that the tax breaks in effect are a public subsidy; thus, the reasoning goes, the information should be made available. Otherwise, how else could the public determine whether the incentives are doing any good?

Broadening the argument for disclosure, Ohio and other states routinely make the information available. And the Journal Gazette quoted a lawyer for the Hoosier State Press Association saying there is no law to prevent IEDC from disclosing wage figures.

Which side do you come down on?

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