Todd’s Projects

Selling tax breaks

The federal government and most states offer up a smorgasbord of tax credits, or tax incentives, to companies and nonprofits. These tax breaks encourage research, construction, job creation, historic preservation, and many other valuable goals. They can range in size from several thousands to tens of millions of dollars. But oftentimes, the organization that receives a tax credit has no use for it. This can happen when the value of the credit exceeds a company's tax liability or when the credit is given to a nonprofit that isn't taxed anyway. This has created a burgeoning marketplace for tax breaks, and the main purchasers are Fortune 500 companies. Many states shroud the sale of tax credits in secrecy -- we don't know whether a tax credit granted for the preservation of a historic post office is actually being used by Google or the governor's best friend, and we don't know what they traded to get it. Let's find out.

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The Serve and Protection Racket: Auditing Asset Forfeiture

Todd Feathers' investigation into the controversial world of police civil seizure exposes a troubling lack of consistency in policies and paperwork around asset forfeiture.

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