The LAT reports that Patterson’s unemployment rate is 20 percent. San Bernardino’s is 17 percent. These are Great Depression-like numbers, and a $94 billion corporation is thinking about squeezing them for a few million desperately needed dollars.

Some California politicians are trying to pass legislation to end the destructive begging for scraps by competing municipalities:

“When you have jurisdictions that have their own budget problems, and they’re dealing with very large, very sophisticated corporations, it’s a huge problem,” said California State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier.

Mr. DeSaulnier, a Democrat, said he is considering proposing a law that would prevent local governments from giving sales taxes back to companies, unless they can demonstrate why it is in the best interest of the state.

Well, they’re “considering proposing” it, anyway.


Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu.