An Event Worth Attending

A while back, we blogged about a recent study issued by the Public Policy Institute of California, Do Enterprise Zones Create Jobs? Evidence from California’s Enterprise Zone Program that concludes that the program doesn’t increase employment and actually leads to a reduction in the number of businesses located within zones. On Thursday, June 11, lead author David Neumark will be speaking at a briefing on this important report in Sacramento. We encourage anyone interested in solid, fact-based research on the effectiveness (and lack thereof) of this program to attend.

As an alternative to the harsh cuts pending before the Legislature, such as the Governor’s proposal to eliminate the CalWORKs and Healthy Families Programs, we’d suggest that lawmakers eliminate a program that the best available evidence suggests is ineffective. The $407 million that the Enterprise Zone Program cost in 2007, the most recent year for which data are available, would more than offset the state’s share of cost for the Healthy Families Program. As we said before, addressing California’s massive budget shortfall will take tough choices. Eliminating ineffective tax breaks is a good place to start.

— Jean Ross