Tax Dollars Should Be Spent on Broad-Based Investments, Not Corporate Subsidies

Illinois has spent at least $4.9 billion in state and local business subsidies since 2000, after adjusting for inflation. This equates to $288.5 million per year. While these subsidies have saved or created some jobs in the state, Illinois could have created even more jobs and more economic growth if tax dollars had instead been invested in public infrastructure and public education.

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10 Reasons Why Peoria Remains a Great Place to Do Business

The Union-Business Case for Firm Relocation and Investment in Illinois and Peoria is available here.

In April 2016, the Project for Middle Class Renewal at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Illinois Economic Policy Institute jointly released an economic commentary outlining the top ten reasons for a business to locate to the Peoria area in Illinois. The report, which was originally limited to the Peoria area, is now available to the broader public.

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The Illinois Tollway Board Votes to Move the Route 53/120 Extension Forward

The Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI) supports the Illinois Tollway Board’s decision to advance the proposed Route 53/120 Extension project through an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). ILEPI recently released a project analysis which found that demographic and economic trends convincingly … Continue reading The Illinois Tollway Board Votes to Move the Route 53/120 Extension Forward

The Illinois Tollway Board Advances the I-294 Central Tri-State Project

The Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI) supports the Illinois Tollway Board’s decision to advance the Central Tri-State project, which will bring far-reaching benefits to the region, including economic development, job creation, and the increased ability to stay competitive.

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In Support of Route 53/120

The proposed extension of Route 53/120 will bring jobs to Lake County and improve overall transportation movements for residents by alleviating traffic congestion.  These improvements will make Lake County more attractive to prospective businesses, which will provide significant economic benefits. Construction of the Route 53/120 extension will actually provide a net benefit to the local economy and improve the quality of life for Lake County residents.

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Right-to-Work’s Broken Promises

Frank Manzo IV is the Policy Director of the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI). Visit ILEPI at www.illinoisepi.org or follow ILEPI on Twitter @illinoisEPI.

Right-to-work has not worked in Indiana.

Nationwide, the unemployment rate has steadily ticked down and is nearing 7 percent. Last year, over 40,000 more business establishments opened than closed across America. The total number of Americans with a job is up almost 2 percent since February 2012. Employers are starting to hire again and consumer demand is slowly rising.

And with the passage of a right-to-work law on February 1, 2012 (which proponents claimed would attract businesses and create jobs), the Indiana economy has been spearheading the economic recovery, right?

Wrong.

An October 16, 2013 study (LINK) by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI), a new research and policy nonprofit, assessed right-to-work’s economic track record in Indiana thus far. Since the law went into effect, 779 more businesses have closed than have opened in Indiana, the unemployment rate has not fallen, and the total number of Indiana residents with a job has declined by 0.4 percent.

The verdict? So far the promises made by right-to-work’s supporters in Indiana have nearly all been broken.

The problem: Right-to-work is a nonfactor as an economic development incentive.

Despite claims that right-to-work entices new businesses to open up in a particular state, survey after survey of corporate executives reports that the policy is not a prevailing factor in whether a firm will locate to a state. Additionally, by limiting collective bargaining units, right-to-work laws act to take away an effective front-end solution for small businesses to hire, train, drug-test, and provide health insurance to workers. Unions have long provided these services to businesses and absorbed the costs through dues and fees. Under right-to-work, these costs shift to small businesses. Finally, right-to-work has been found to lower worker wages by around 3 percent annually. With lower incomes, workers have less money to spend. Why would a private business want to relocate to a state where consumer demand for its product or service is diminished? Continue reading “Right-to-Work’s Broken Promises”