In the past month, the Good Jobs First
database has added more than 18,000 new listings of subsidy awards, bringing the search engine’s inventory to more than 245,000 company-specific entries from 385 programs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Some of the new content comes from our effort to expand Tracker’s scope from state-level programs to those at the city and county level. This process is time-consuming, given that few localities put subsidy data online, and we must thus rely on open records request to get the information. Over the past month we have gotten replies to a dozen of those requests and uploaded the results. These include: enterprise zone data from Richmond, Virginia; municipal tax increment financing data from three cities in Maine (Portland, Bangor and Lewiston); property tax abatement data from South Bend, Indiana and San Antonio, Texas; and data on miscellaneous programs from places such as Oklahoma City and Asheville, North Carolina.
We’ve also used FOIAs to fill in some state-level programs that were previously undisclosed: Mississippi’s Major Economic Impact Act grants and the Tennessee Job Skills training cost reimbursement program.
Yet by far the largest source of new information was our painstaking update of the data disclosed by state agencies on the web. In recent weeks we have scanned more than 250 such sites covering some 300 programs and have retrieved new data for nearly half of them. (Most sites post new information annually.) Having completed this, we can now turn our full attention back to the hunt for locality data.