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Economic War Among Great Lake States


BE IT RESOLVED, That the Clerk of the Senate 
shall transmit duly authenticated copies of this 
Resolution to the Speaker and Clerk of the 
United States House of Representatives, to 
the President and President Pro Tempore and 
Secretary of the United States Senate, to the 
Governors and Lieutenant Governors and 
appropriate officers of the legislatures of all 
other states as well as interested parties.


January 21, 1997


More and more legislators, policy makers, and 
economists have growing concerns regarding the 
escalation of the economic development "incentive 
wars" between the states.    

Nationwide - billions of dollars of state and 
local government resources are expended each 
year to entice businesses to move from one 
location to another or not to move at all.  This 
corporate manipulation of government officials 
through the bidding wars creates little if anything 
in the aggregate and in the long run weakens 
both our state and national economies.  Such 
wasteful practices drain the productive use of 
resources from education, tax relief  and other 
public services vital to a strong economy.  In
many cases, federal programs enable these 
incentive bidding wars such as federal tax free 
bonds being used to lure professional sports 
teams to new facilities in other states.  

We, in the Ohio Legislature have debated and 
unanimously passed  the enclosed Senate - House 
Concurrent Resolution.  This resolution supports 
a first step!  All of us working together to get 
the federal government to identify and eliminate 
programs which turn states against states.  Then, 
individual states can work on solutions and 
de-escalate the wars between us.  Our Ohio 
Senate Resolution supports U.S. House 
Resolution 1842 sponsored by U.S. Congressman 
Marty Meehan (Massachusetts) and U.S. 
Congressman Bob Franks (New Jersey) 
during the 104th Congress.  We hope you will 
consider encouraging such a resolution during 
upcoming sessions in your state to encourage 
your congressional representatives to support 
this movement in Congress to eliminate these 

This issue is receiving national media attention 
as well as local coverage on a regular basis.  A 
recent article written by Charles Mahtesian which 
appeared in "Governing Magazine" November 
1996 is a classic example.  I am pleased to report 
that U.S. Senators Alfonse D'Amato and Edward 
Kennedy and several Congressmen have asked 
the Comptroller General of the United States 
to undertake a study to identify the federal 
programs that can fuel state to state competition.  
The momentum is building but we need to gather 
support to eliminate the programs once they are 
identified.  A copy of their letter is available 
upon request.

We have also formed an "economic development 
network" on the internet in order to discuss these 
issues and exchange relative information.  Currently 
over 1,300 elected officials, economists, think 
tanks, media persons and interested parties have 
participated.  If you would like to join us, or 
recommend others, please contact my office 
through any of the following:	

(P) 	(614) 466 4538
(F)	(614) 466 7018

Thank you for taking the time to review this letter.  
As you can see, this issue is now on the radar screen 
and will only continue to escalate unless we take 
action.  Many national organizations such as NCSL 
and CSG have formed standing committees and/or 
task forces to address these issues.  Please contact 
me or my Aide, Ray DiRossi if you would like to 
discuss this matter further.    


Charles F. Horn
Chairman - Ohio Senate 
Economic Development Committee

*If you would like any of the following - I would 
be more than happy to pass them on to you.

Enclosures:	Ohio Senate Resolution 21
		Governing Magazine article
		Letter to Comptroller General