Is Corporate Welfare The New Normal? | Connecticut Public Radio

Is Corporate Welfare The New Normal?

Nov 19, 2018

Amazon’s getting billions of dollars in tax breaks and other incentives from New York and Virginia to build its two East Coast headquarters. This hour: has corporate welfare become the standard?

A new investigation by Citylab examines how big-box stores are using a loophole to pay substantially less in property taxes. Is this strategy spreading nationwide? We talk with reporter Laura Bliss.    

We also explore how the state of Connecticut has awarded generous tax breaks and incentives to attract and retain big corporations. Dan Haar with Hearst CT Media will join us with analysis.

Are these deals a boon to economic development or a waste of your tax dollars? We want to hear from you.


  • Laura Bliss - Staff writer at CityLab (@mslaurabliss)
  • Dan Haar - Columnist and Associate Editor for Hears Connecticut Media (@DanHaarColumns)
  • Michael Gregonis - Wildlife biologist with Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) who works on Connecticut’s Wild Turkey programs

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.


Citylab: After the Retail Apocalypse, Prepare for the Property Tax Meltdown (Laura Bliss, November 2018) – “Big-box retailers such as Walmart, Target, Meijer, Menards, and others are trimming their expenses in a forum where few residents are looking: the property tax assessment process. With one property tax appeal after another, they are compelling small-town assessors and high-court judges to accept the novel argument that their bustling big boxes should be valued like vacant “dark” stores—i.e., the near-worthless properties now peppering America’s shopping plazas.”

Connecticut Post: Dan Haar: Big corporate handouts won’t end under any guv, period (November, 2018) – “Here’s the problem: Big incentives to big corporations grew up in the Weicker era, spread around the country like an ugly rumor and now are part of the landscape. Governors Stefanowski, Lamont, Griebel or any other name you want to pick, can say all they want about wiping out these greenmail gifts. It ain’t gonna happen.”

The Day: Wild turkeys finding a home in Connecticut (November, 2013) – “The wild turkey population in the 1800s was nonexistent in Connecticut because of deforestation and several ensuing harsh winters. As recently as 40 years ago, a border-to-border search for the gobblers would have yielded nothing. But thanks to conservation efforts and the reintroduction of the birds back into the wild, they can be found in all 169 cities and towns today.”

Chion Wolf contributed to this show.