It’s been another exciting year at Smart Incentives with several great projects, 4 new publications, and presentations that generated energetic conversations. The Smart Incentives blog and newsletters also prompted a great response. This article recaps our most popular blog posts of 2016.

1. 5 interesting elements of the GE incentive deal

When General Electric announced that it would move its headquarters to Boston, the accompanying $145 million incentive package received a lot of attention. It turns out the agreement is much more interesting than the total dollar value or cost per job calculations. Here are 5 important points about the deal.

2. Five features of economic development oversight

California’s Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy (JEDE) held an informational hearing on Methods of Review for Economic Development Activities in preparation for upcoming oversight hearings of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. I had the opportunity to testify on features of program and organizational oversight, including methods for evaluating economic development activities. This post is a summary of my remarks.

3. 3 steps economic developers should take to prepare for GASB 77 tax abatement disclosures

State and local governments will soon begin disclosing financial information about tax abatements in their annual financial reports. As a reminder, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) last year approved Statement No. 77, Tax Abatement Disclosures, which establishes guidance requiring state and local governments to disclose certain information about tax abatement agreements for periods beginning after December 15, 2015. Economic development organizations should consider taking these three steps now to help their communities comply with disclosure rules.

4. New paper examines state economic development indicators

How do we know if state economic development incentive programs are working? A recent report from the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness with contributions from Smart Incentives strives to help states answer this question. In this article we highlight the key points from The State Economic Development Performance Indicators White Paper.

5. Due diligence checklist for economic development incentives

Smart incentive use begins with good upfront due diligence on recipients and proposed investments. This post provides a quick refresher on why it is important to conduct background research on incentive applicants and the essential steps in the process.