From the Sensible Bills That Will Never Pass Department comes SB 5174, a measure that would require taxpayers claiming a "tax expenditure" to demonstrate a net benefit to the state.
Whether you call them tax expenditures or tax preferences or tax deferrals, what we're really talking about are tax breaks, generally granted to so-called "job creators" for the purpose of, you know, creating jobs and stuff. State law already requires taxpayers who claim such tax breaks to complete an annual survey detailing employment positions, wages, research expenditures and other information pertinent to the tax break being claimed. Based on the information in these surveys, SB 5174 requires:
(6)(b)(i) If a person claims a tax expenditure that does not produce a net benefit to the state each year, the department must declare the amount of the tax expenditure claimed for the previous calendar year to be immediately due and payable.
In other words, job creators can still claim tax breaks intended to create jobs, but only if some jobs are actually created. Makes sense, right? Which is why this very sensible bill doesn't stand a snowball's chance in Hell of passing.
Because benefiting the state is not really the purpose of these tax breaks. No, the real purpose is to benefit the "job creators." And requiring them to actually prove that these tax breaks deliver the promised public benefits would just mess things up for everybody (that matters). So shhh... better that nobody knows.