I am reworking my list of the top 25 subsidy packages in the U.S. for a new article I'm working on. In my book, Investment Incentives and the Global Competition for Capital, I used the top 25 projects from 1999 to early 2008. For the article, the table will cover 2001 to the present. In addition, I am interested in uncovering all incentive packages of $100 million or more since early 2008. In the European Union, there are only five $100+ million incentive packages in the last three years. (Source: European Commission, then search for cases with decision date after 1/1/2008 and Primary Objective of Regional Development.)

In the United States, by contrast, state and local governments have given at least 13 packages with a nominal subsidy value of $100 million or more since early 2008. (As with the book, I will be calculating their present value, because that is what the European Union does; this allows for better comparability of subsidies and, besides, present value is the more meaningful figure.) Before I send this article off, I want to make sure I haven't missed any, which is why I am asking for your help. Please let me know if there are any projects I've missed. I will, naturally, acknowledge you in the article.

First, here is a corrected version of the table that appeared in the book. In the course of writing a report, not yet published, for the North Carolina Budget and Tax Center, I discovered that our estimate of Google's subsidy in North Carolina was too low. It is corrected here.

Company     Year     City     State     Present Value

Boeing     2003     Everett     WA     $1,984,400,000
Advanced Micro Devices     2006     Malta     NY     $1,118,000,000
ThyssenKrupp     2007     Mount Vernon     AL     $734,304,000
Scripps Research Institute     2003     Palm Beach County     FL     $566,500,000
IBM     2000     East Fishkill     NY     $533,083,333
Volkswagen     2008     Chattanooga     TN     $450,139,048
Kia     2006     West Point     GA     $353,083,333
Toyota     2006     Blue Springs     MS     $291,634,000
Nissan     2000     Canton     MS     $289,666,667
Sematech     2007     Albany     NY     $269,444,444
Hyundai     2002     Montgomery     AL     $233,936,363
Ford     2006     Detroit     MI     $219,780,000
Toyota     2003     San Antonio     TX     $218,100,000
International Sematech     2002     Albany     NY     $175,636,364
Dell     2004     Winston-Salem     NC     $174,230,401
Goodyear     2004     Akron     OH     $173,099,088
Samsung Austin Semiconductor     2006     Austin     TX     $171,244,444
Eli Lilly     1999     Indianapolis     IN     $150,916,667
Marathon Oil     2007     Detroit     MI     $148,800,000
Honda     1999     Lincoln     AL     $144,221,818
Google     2007     Lenoir     NC     $140,592,593
General Motors     2000     Lansing     MI     $138,844,542
Alenia/Vought     2004     Charleston     SC     $133,133,333
Dell     1999     Nashville     TN     $132,373,334
Hemlock Semiconductor     2007     Hemlock     MI     $124,226,666

Source: Investment Incentives and the Global Competition for Capital and author's calculations

While researching this new article, it occurred to me that Kansas City, MO, has given several tax increment financing (TIF) subsidies that exceed the lowest value in this table. In fact, four Kansas City TIFs should have appeared in the table: KC Live, H&R Block, Pershing Road, and Three Trails (source). KC Live, the smallest of these, had a nominal subsidy of $167.9 million. To the best of my knowledge, the EU does not approve subsidies for retail, and I know for a fact that it does not approve them in the steel industry (ThyssenKrupp in the table above, Nucor in the table below).

The following list was begun by identifying the "top projects of the year" for 2008-10 according to Site Selection magazine. Pursuing news stories to determine the incentive package details led to the discovery of several other projects of at least $100 million in nominal subsidy value.

Company          State           Minimum nominal incentive package

AREVA             ID              $276.6 million present value
Nucor                LA             $373 million
Hemlock            MI             $358.4 million
Spirit Aero         NC            $250.9 million
Cerner/OnGoal  KS             $230 million
Hemlock            TN            $200 million
Electrolux          TN             $188.3 million present value
Ford                  KY            $180 million
Boeing              SC              $900 million
Apple                NC            $320.7 million
Xtreme             MI              $100 million
Schott               NM            $130 million
Panasonic         NJ              $102 million

Thus, in the last three years, there have been at least 13 deals for $100 million or more in the U.S. (though the last three may fall below $100 million in present value) compared to just five in the European Union. The deals in the U.S. are larger, too: the largest deal in the EU is for Global Foundries (formerly Advanced Micro Devices) in Dresden, Germany, where EU state aid rules allowed it to receive 211.0 million euros, about $284.9 million. Not only is this dwarfed by what South Carolina gave Boeing, Global Foundries is asking New York State for $1 billion for a new wafer fabrication plant there. As I will argue in the article, new evidence continues to demonstrate that the EU is  successful in reducing the investment incentives granted to mobile investors there, compared to what they get for similar projects in the U.S.

Again, these results are preliminary, but striking. Because of the EU's centralized register of cases, it is more likely that I may have missed 9-figure subsidies in the U.S. than in the EU. Of course, please let me know if I've missed any in either place. Thanks!

Cross-posted from Middle Class Political Economist.

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