Tools for Taking On the Corporate Subsidy Machine: Ban Intrastate Job Piracy

September 13, 2022 State and Local Policy

The Problem:

While states expend resources attempting to poach businesses from one another, municipalities within states often do the same thing. For example, Panasonic received more than $100 million to move its headquarters nine miles from Secaucus, New Jersey, to Newark, New Jersey.[1] Billtrust received $12 million to move five miles from Hamilton, New Jersey, to Lawrence, New Jersey.[2] Fidelity Security Life Insurance received $7.5 million to move about a mile within Kansas City, Missouri.[3] These moves simply shuffle economic resources around within a state, producing no new economic activity. They merely increase the opportunity for corporate rent-seeking and political corruption, as corporations play city councils and state economic development officials against each other.

The Policy:

About 40 states already ban intrastate piracy in at least one of their corporate incentive programs.[4]Those bans should be adopted across the board.

Model bills: HB0211, Illinois, 2021


[1] Bagli, Charles V., “Christie Leaning on Tax Subsidies in Hunt for Jobs,” The New York Times, April 4, 2012,

[2] Rojas, Cristina, “Company gets $12M in tax credits to move 5 miles away,”, Aug. 23, 2017,

[3] Davis, Miranda, “Kansas City gives $7.5 million tax break to Fidelity Security Life for new offices on prime real estate,” KCUR, Dec. 10, 2021,

[4] LeRoy, Greg, Kasia Tarczynska, Leigh McIlvaine, Thomas Cafcas, and Philip Mattera, “The Job Creation

Shell Game: Ending the Wasteful Practice of Subsidizing Companies that Move Jobs From One State to Another,” Good Jobs First, Jan. 2013,