Legislators asked for facts, not analysis or opinion, in the first hearing on the state’s system of giving tax breaks to businesses. State Rep. John Bradley (D-Marion) told speakers at the joint hearing of the House committees on finance and government administration that the focus would be on hard data that measure the effectiveness of these tax incentives.

“Not to get into questions to ask of us or analysis-driven discussions, or I’m going to shut you off,” Bradley said.

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Bradley made good on that promise, cutting off several witnesses representing business associations and government agencies who cited studies without providing that information to the committee. Elliot Richardson, chief executive of the Small Business Advisory Council, warned the committee there’s been little analysis done on whether these incentives work.

“There are no metrics that we’ve seen that are out there, or I would present them to you, to indicate that one way or the other,” Richardson said.

Committee members don’t expect any action to be taken on the issue for several months.

(Copyright WBGZ Radio / www.AltonDailyNews.com)