The Pew Charitable Trusts have compiled an evaluation of the states for how well they monitor industrial development incentives, or corporate welfare payments of tax money to attract business. Arkansas scores poorly.

Staff members of The Pew Charitable Trusts have assessed each state on the extent to which it has taken three steps to successfully evaluate tax incentives: making a plan, measuring the impact, and informing policy choices. These criteria were selected because they lead to regular, high-quality analyses that lawmakers use to improve the results of the state’s economic development efforts.

The assessment was first done in May 2017 and has been updated. Here are the key points from Pew’s current assessment of Arkansas:


Arkansas is trailing other states because it has not adopted a plan for regular evaluation of tax incentives.

The state used to regularly study tax incentive programs but shifted the focus of the process because policymakers found the evaluations too technical and abstract.

To re-establish an evaluation process, Arkansas could build capacity in the legislative audit office or contract with outside experts.

We pour it out hand over fist (even though the prevailing political thought in the legislature is that welfare for poor people is a disincentive to honest toil.) We’ve extended hundreds of millions in promised benefits during the Hutchinson administration to three separate Chinese projects, none yet on-line and, one an enormous giveaway to support a communist billionaire’s pulp mill plan in Clark County, still at least a couple of years away amid changing operational plans.