Sponsors and speakers to call for systematic reform of New York’s $2.6 billion Corporate Welfare program

Forum on Corporate Welfare and Corporate Accountability to be held in Troy at 7 pm on Wednesday, May 3, 2000.

For more information, contact Mark Dunlea at 518-434-7371 or Frank Mauro at 518-786-3156.

The Fair Budget Campaign will be conducting a forum on Corporate Welfare and Accountability on Wednesday, May 3rd at 7:00 PM at the First United Presbyterian Church, 1915 5th Avenue, Troy (2 blocks east of the Uncle Sam Atrium). The event is co-sponsored by Troy Area United Ministries.

The forum will feature a presentation by Greg LeRoy one of the nation’s foremost experts on economic development subsidy accountability. Mr. LeRoy is the Director of Good Jobs First, a national clearinghouse of information on the best state and local government practices in this field and the author of the 1994 classic No More Candy Store: States and Cities Making Job Subsidies Accountable. When it was published, No More Candy Store was the first only compilation ever of grassroots remedies for corporate welfare abuse — remedies like money-back guarantee “clawbacks,”requirements that corporate welfare recipients pay fair wages and benefits, rules for full disclosure, environmental protection and “anti-piracy” safeguards against “paying Peter to rob Paul” with taxpayers money.

Other speakers will include Elmer Bertsch an active member of two organizations that are dealing with subsidy accountability issues on a day-to-day, grass roots basis in Schenectady (Citizens for the Preservation and Revitalization of Schenectady and the Schenectady Greens),and representatives of two of the organizations that have been involve in the Fair Budget Campaign’s efforts at the state level: Frank Mauro of the Fiscal Policy Institute and Mark Dunlea of the Hunger Action Network of New York State.

The forum will include a discussion of several controversial economic development projects in the Capital District, including Metroplex in Schenectady, Garden Way in Troy and Sysco Foods in Halfmoon.

The forum will also highlight the steps that an be taken by state and local governments to hold companies more accountable for the $2.6 billion in various forms of tax credits, subsidies, loans, grants and low-cost energy they receive annually from the state and local government in the name of economic development. The Fair Budget Campaign is supporting a series of state bills to ensure that corporate tax subsidies result in the creation or retention of living wage jobs; to require performance standards for companies receiving such subsidies; and, to require standardized reporting regarding job creation and retention from firms receiving tax subsidies.

Members of the Fair Budget Campaign include Citizen Action of NYS, Citizens’ Environmental Coalition, Environmental Advocates, Fiscal Policy Institute, Hunger Action Network of NYS, The Interfaith Alliance of NYS, New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness, NYS Labor and Environment Network, SENSES, StateWide Senior Action Council of NYS, and the Student Association of the State University.

The forum is free and open to the public.