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.
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.