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A Tax Policy Conference: State Tax Incentives for Economic Development

The University of Minnesota Law School
The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies

Friday, October 7, 2005
9:30 AM – 3:45 PM

The University of Minnesota Law School
4.5 CLE credits

State governments routinely utilize tax incentive programs, credits, and exemptions to attract economic development. Last fall, in Cuno v. DaimlerChrysler, a federal appeals court declared that an Ohio incentive tax credit provision is unconstitutional as an impermissible, discriminatory interference with interstate commerce. While the Cuno parties await a decision on their request for Supreme Court review, Congress considers demands for federal legislation regulating the scope of state tax competition for economic development. Meanwhile, copycat litigation ensues challenging tax incentive laws in other states, including Minnesota’s Job Opportunity Building Zones ("JOBZ") and Biotechnology and Health Sciences Industry Zone programs, on federal and state constitutional grounds.

  • Was Cuno rightly decided?
  • What are the implications of Cuno for state tax policy and economic development efforts?
  • Are tax incentive programs, credits, and exemptions to attract economic development good policy or a destructive "race to the bottom"?
  • What, if anything, should the federal government do to regulate these state policies?

Join leading scholars and other participants in the judicial and legislative debate in discussing these and other questions.

Select a link below to view the archived web cast.

Click Here for Online Viewing Information


  • Agenda (with links to speaker profiles and supplementary material)
    Introduction & Welcome
  • Presentation on Pending Lititgation: Kevin Thompson, Legislative Counsel, Council on State Taxation : approximately 45 minutes
    The Merits and Implications of Cuno v. DaimlerChrysler
  • Prof. Brannon Denning, Cumberland School of Law
  • Prof. Peter Enrich, Northeastern University School of Law
  • Prof. Kirk Stark, UCLA School of Law
  • Prof. Edward Zelinsky, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
  • Approximately 1 hour 34 minutes
    The Wisdom and Efficacy of State Tax Competition.
  • Moderator: Prof. Myron Orfield, University of Minnesota Law School
  • Prof. Peter Fisher, University of Iowa Graduate Program in Urban and Regional Planning
  • Mr. Joel Michael, Legislative Analyst, Minnesota House of Representatives Research Department
  • Prof. James Rogers, Texas A&M University Department of Political Science
  • Mr. Arthur Rolnick, Director of Research, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
  • Approximately 1 Hour 45 minutes

Tax Policy Symposium 2006
October 27, 2006