Are tax breaks for real estate development necessary?

Are they legal and absolutely necessary to enable developers make a higher profit and create a complex that draws more tax revenue than it costs?

Where is the cost v. benefit analysis on each development as presented to the public as well as after it is finished and operational?

Who performs such an analysis, what criteria is included (i.e., total measurable and non measurable factors including social impact of adding more people to an area), who receives the report first and can they modify any of the results if/before it is published, and is that source trustworthy?

12-15-2018: Apple Campus, Austin TX—-How Austin Lured Apple — Again. $25 million in grants for the move from Texas State…and refund of all local property taxes?

3-3-2015: Home Depot wants a $200 Million bond or they threaten to move out of Cobb County – Are the Atlanta Braves watching?

Update: 8-21-2014: Apparently, the North Carolina State Legislature didn’t think so and has capped their maximum 25% refundable tax credit to a maximum of $20 Million per project. Seems that some film production companies got “too big” of a discount on their past projects and the state gave away a little too much. Georgia still offers 30%. WSJ, 8-21-14, A5.

9-30-2013: According to this 9-30-2013 Marietta Daily Journal article, Cobb County doesn’t adequately define or disclose cost v. benefits of extending tax credits or waiving tax rules for real estate development.

The November 1, 2010 ruling by the Georgia Supreme Court ruled the tax breaks granted by the Fulton County Development Authority for development projects on local government were unconstitutional subsidies.

Recently, Cobb County has come along to offer tax breaks for a developer to develop part of the Hidden Forest subdivision (across from the former Kennesaw Professional Women’s Soccer stadium which may have also received tax breaks to build and whose future use is questionable since women’s soccer is no longer played) into mixed use residential and retail space.  Cobb Developer – Lynwood Development Group -Tax Break

The General Assembly also passed a constitutional law allowing school taxes to be used for development projects.

Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle 11/5-11/2011.

References to products and services are not a specific endorsement, but the user must perform their due diligence and investigate whether the product or service is right for them. I welcome any or all comments that would help others.

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