Attention, Governor Raimondo: Corporate Welfare is Not Economic Development


The Providence Journal reports today that the state Economic Development Corporation, now skulking around under the moniker of the Commerce Corporation, last night handed out over $14,000,000 in taxpayer dollars under the guise of economic development.

But on a busy night with a meeting that drew an overflow crowd interested in the unveiling of the state’s new tourism campaign, that vote was just one of many initiatives intended to help Rhode Island’s economy.The board approved three development projects for up to $12.8 million in Rebuild Rhode Island tax credits: Prospect Heights redevelopment, 560 Prospect St., Pawtucket, up to $3.7 million in credits; Union Trust Company Building, 170 Westminster St., Providence, up to about $3 million in credits; and 78 Fountain St., Providence, up to about $6.1 million in credits.

Targeted tax handouts do nothing to address the underlying cause of the state’s economic malaise, which is an excess of burdensome regulations, taxes and fees. If the General Assembly is wise, they will cut way back on these chunks of corporate welfare that lard the Governor’s budget and politely request that she do the right thing for the entire state by coming up with a plan for broad-based tax and reg reform.