Local governments need more transparency for tax abatements, report says

New rules by the nonprofit Governmental Accounting Standards Board [GASB] “can encourage local governments to be more transparent regarding their tax abatements,” says a report by Policy Matters Ohio, according to a recent Gongwer article. The new accounting standards from the GASB “require more transparency regarding abatements in which tax revenue is reduced due to an agreement between the governor and a taxpayer,” according to that report. Policy Matters “looked at disclosures by 59 counties and 84 cities, villages and townships, with the 10 largest counties reporting a total of $25.8 million in abatements for 2016,” Gongwer reports. Zach Schiller, the author of the report, “said one of the concerns with the findings is that not all local governments are reporting their revenue lost to abatements.” Rep. Keith Farber (R-Celina), who is running for auditor, said, “[i]t’s important for local governments and their constituents to know if they are getting a return on investment from incentives.” 

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