Summary Box: Few states track tax break effects

Associated Press
FILE - A May 4, 2011 file photo shows the entrance to the Sears Holdings Corp. Prairie Stone campus area in Hoffman Estates, Ill. Most states are doing a poor job tracking whether their tax breaks for businesses are actually spurring job growth, including some that have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into corporate incentive programs even while grappling with record deficits, according to a new report released Thursday, April 12, 2012 by the Pew Center on the States. Late last year Illinois agreed to a package of $330 million in tax breaks for Sears Holding Corp. and two companies that operate Chicago financial exchanges after they threatened to leave the state. (AP Photo/Daily Herald, Mark Welsh, File)  MANDATORY CREDIT, MAGS OUT, TV OUT
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DO BUSINESS TAX BREAKS WORK?: Most states are doing a poor job tracking whether their tax breaks for businesses are actually spurring job growth, including some that have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into corporate incentive programs even while grappling with record deficits, according to a new report.

THE DETAILS: The report released Thursday by the Pew Center on the States found that no state regularly takes a hard look at the effectiveness of all of its tax breaks. Twenty-five states and Washington, D.C., do little if any evaluation. Only 13 were found to be doing enough.

THE CRITICS: But some states criticized in the report dispute Pew's findings. Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield said his state can't afford to review every tax-break deal, but reviews a number of them and cut the size of tax breaks it provides when warranted.

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