Mississippi College Law Review

Publication Date

Spring 2024


This article is politically pragmatic and written with a clear acknowledgement that tax incentives will continue to be utilized by policymakers, despite data continuing to reflect that the actual influence tax incentives have in determining where a company or industry locates is often exceeded by their cost. Government investment in public services such as education and infrastructure are often scaled back to accommodate the cost of the incentives. However, public officials have strong incentives of their own which encourage them to rely on these costly measures. These incentives include the resulting political points they score from being able to take credit for creating jobs. Since there is a lack of political will to stop offering tax incentives, this article first reviews how tax incentives are used and how to evaluate their impact. Next, a review of recent incentive packages around the country and in Alabama and Mississippi provides a framework for incentive use. An examination of the negative consequences of tax incentives demonstrates how communities often receive far less than the promised benefits from offering the packages. The article then provides an explanation for why public officials continue to rely on tax incentives. Finally, the article presents solutions designed to increase transparency and accountability, which will mitigate the most harmful consequences of tax incentives.

Included in

Tax Law Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.