Wednesday, November 15, 2006

On March 16, Peter Fisher testified before a US senate subcommittee on the issue of state tax incentives to attract business. The invitation to present testimony to the Subcommittee on International Trade of the Senate Finance Committee came as a result of an “amicus curia” (friend of the court) brief that Fisher had co-authored, arguing that the US Supreme Court should uphold a district court decision (Cuno v. Daimler-Chrysler) that declared an Ohio investment tax credit unconstitutional. The brief, co-signed by a group of 12 economists (including Robert Reich) in February, argued that state competition for business is poor national economic policy because it merely shifts jobs around (to less efficient locations), and undercuts the ability of states to fund investments in education and infrastructure. The Senate is considering legislation that would provide congressional authorization for states to continue using tax incentives such as the Ohio credit should the Supreme Court agree that they violate the commerce clause of the constitution. Fisher was on a panel of five arguing the pros and cons of this legislation.