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Is a tax break a state expense?

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What have you sacrificed, if you agree to give up something you do not have, and never will have? Have you lost something, if you agree not to take money you will never earn?

This is a little hard to follow, but it’s the core of the argument over tax incentives. For instance, if Boeing builds airplanes in Washington, the state may collect various sales and business taxes. If Boeing builds its airplanes in some other state, Washington collects nothing. Washington agrees to collect fewer taxes if Boeing builds here, because without the offer Boeing will leave and Washington will collect nothing. Is Washington giving tax money away? Is it losing money, or is it taking less to avoid taking nothing at all?

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