The Brief: Dec. 3, 2012
For its latest installment in a series investigating tax breaks and incentives for businesses in the U.S., The New York Times has zeroed in on Texas, which Louise Story reports has doled out about $19 billion per year in such incentives, more than any other state.
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#1 Dec 3, 2012
FROM TEXAS TRIBUNE:
The story centers on G. Brint Ryan, an influential consultant who helps businesses like ExxonMobil land incentives in Texas. Earlier this year, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst appointed Ryan to the state's Select Committee on Economic Development, which will report to the Legislature.
Ryan has donated millions of dollars to office holders across the state, including Dewhurst and Gov. Rick Perry, who controls the Texas Enterprise Fund, through which the state pays out incentive money.
"When you give money to a state regulator who you appear before, there are potential conflicts of interest," Craig McDonald, the executive director of the watchdog group Texans for Public Justice, tells the Times. "And Texas law is way too weak in allowing those conflicts to exist."
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