State and local leaders continue to call for better information on how well their economic development and tax incentive programs are performing. In response, an increasing number of states are conducting formal program evaluations. 

A new database from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) created with the support of The Pew Charitable Trusts compiles these state tax incentive evaluations in one place for easy access and searchability.  The database currently contains over 30 state evaluation reports and more will be added over time. 

The online database allows searches by analysis topic (such as “incentive design”), type of incentive (such as “angel investment” or “manufacturing”), state and year. The site also includes a useful glossary of terms and links to additional resources. 

Conducting quality incentive evaluations that assess program effectiveness and provide useful feedback to policymakers is tremendously difficult. Evaluation challenges include identifying program goals, choosing the right metrics, accessing data, determining impact and causation, and communicating complex findings. Evaluators can use this database to learn how other states have managed these challenges and to start to build an understanding of effective tax incentive policy attributes.

Click here to check out the State Tax Incentive Evaluations Database.