An energy intensive Bitcoin mining operation in Park Falls can’t replace a once vibrant paper mill, but it has created new conflicts and a cautionary tale.
Despite tens of millions in state and local government incentives, the Wisconsin company is steering billions of dollars of work away from its namesake city.
The Department of Revenue has revoked $50,000 worth of tax credits from W.W. Grainger, a distributor of industrial and maintenance supplies, after the company failed to create promised jobs, sold subsidiaries employing hundreds of its workers and sent some jobs overseas.
In its first 15 months of existence, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. awarded $126 million in incentives to 24 companies without a full financial review. Some deals turned out well, others have failed. The largest — up to $62.5 million in tax credits to Kohl’s Corp. — so far has not generated the number of jobs or amount of capital spending promised.
Snapshots of some of the 24 companies that got a piece of the $126 million in state taxpayer subsidies without full financial review from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.
Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, and Sen. Rick Gudex, R-Fond du Lac, address criticism of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. Both lawmakers are WEDC board members.
Good Jobs First, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that advocates for accountability in economic development, generally recommends against taxpayer subsidies for retail companies such as Kohl’s Corp.
The group’s research director, Philip Mattera, said retail positions tend to be low-paid, part-time jobs.
Despite signs of trouble with the companies, Gov. Scott Walker’s jobs agency awarded about $1.4 million in taxpayer money to two northern Wisconsin firms that have now failed to repay the loans.
The Center is known for its comprehensive coverage of frac sand mining. But let’s face it … our stories are long. So in the meantime here’s a quick introduction to the issues, from local control to dusty air.
Thousands of people with disabilities must wait for months to access state employment services, although the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation has not requested the full amount of federal funds available to it for the past three years, the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism has found.
Dairy farmer Jeremy Meissner and farm manager Huron Mireles are part of the reason Clark County’s population is growing while nearby counties’ levels are declining. Part three of three in the Center’s Rural Slide series.
In Wood County, where almost half of the paper industry jobs disappeared during the past decade, local leaders are using a regional approach to boost existing industries. Part two of three in the Center’s Rural Slide series.