economic development spending initiative
The state of Kentucky plays a major role in economic development activities—to the tune of spending more than $800 million dollars in 2004 on these efforts. While that may not seem like a lot of money to some, it is a lot of public money during a time of shrinking budgets and state healthcare deficits. Most of that money is spent on industrial recruiting through the tax code (as tax exemptions and incentives) with little evaluation of the impact of that spending.
While we value the role of the state and its work to improve the economic reality in Kentucky, we believe more needs to be done. State economic development spending can play a critical role in making sure less well off parts of the commonwealth benefit from targeted investments that make a difference. Both rural areas and urban centers deserve an economic development strategy that has the potential to meet their needs. Our current economic development strategy does not go far enough and relies too heavily on tax incentives and tax breaks.
MACED is working to develop an initiative to support the spending of the state’s money on a broader range of effective community economic development strategies that make a difference to low-income communities.
These efforts are likely to have three major components.
1) Conduct research on the state’s economic development efforts.
MACED is working to better define the amount of money the state spends on economic development and the return on the public investment. See here for MACED’s recently released report Accounting for Impact—Economic Development Spending in Kentucky. MACED plans to disseminate the results of that report broadly.
2) Identifying community economic development strategies that have real potential. MACED is going to conduct research to evaluate recent development efforts in the region to determine what strategies have the potential to make a real difference. These strategies may include entrepreneurial development, value-added and sustainable forestry, housing, microenterprise development, workforce development and other efforts. MACED will release research briefs that define these efforts and give local decision-makers a resource to determine how these strategies could be employed in their communities.
3) Build a coalition of interested people willing to create a new economic development plan. MACED believes that state economic development efforts need to be shaped both by the perspective of local people and informed by experts. MACED hopes to build interest in the creation of a new economic development plan for the eastern Kentucky region, and possibly the entire state, that builds on a diverse range of effective community economic development efforts and shifts state spending to support this new set of strategies.
Please contact Justin Maxson at 859-986-2373 or
email@example.com for more information.