West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy
has just released a new report examining how state agencies can improve their bang for the buck on job-creation investments. The report, entitled
“Money for Nothing: Do Business Subsides Create Jobs or Leave Workers in Dire Straits?,”
focuses on the three of the most common subsidies with job-creation requirements: the Economic Opportunity Tax Credit, the Manufacturing Investment Tax Credit, and the West Virginia Economic Development Authority’s (WVEDA) low-interest direct loans.
Despite spending millions of dollars annually to encourage private businesses to create good-paying jobs, the report concludes West Virginia is getting little in return. The authors recommend better public disclosure on the details of each program, timely and company-specific information on the number and quality of jobs created, clear consequences for non-compliant subsidy recipients, and an annual unified development budget to keep state agencies better informed.