Tag Archives: manufacturing jobs

Walker gave over $1 billion to the rich, but has no evidence it created jobs

In recent testimony before the Legislature, the Secretary of the Department of Revenue for the Walker administration claimed that a runaway manufacturing and agricultural tax giveaway to the wealthy and corporations enacted in the 2011 state budget is helping create jobs. But in response to an open records request by One Wisconsin Now seeking documentation to back up Rick Chandler’s job creation claim the agency replied: “We do not have any such records.”

In 2011, Gov. Scott Walker and his GOP cohorts concocted a late-night scheme to give away more of our money to their wealthy friends under the guise of creating jobs. Walker never required proving jobs were created to get the money, and now we find that his own administration can’t provide a shred of evidence of any actual jobs actually being created.

As reported by the Associated Press on March 29, “Gov. Scott Walker’s Revenue Department secretary is defending a manufacturing tax credit that’s cost far more than originally expected. Revenue Department Secretary Rick Chandler told lawmakers on the Joint Finance Committee on April 20 that the manufacturing and ag tax credit has helped led (sic) to an increase of 31,000 manufacturing jobs in the state since 2011. The tax credit was passed in 2011 but took effect in 2013. It’s projected to cost $1.4 billion by mid-2019. It’s costing more than twice as much as originally estimated now that it’s fully implemented. (Editor’s Note: Even if the money had created 31,000 jobs, that would mean each job cost more than $45,000.)

Seeking confirmation of Chandler’s allegation, One Wisconsin Now submitted a request under the state open records law for “copies of all documents which show jobs created specifically and as a direct result of the manufacturing and agriculture tax credit, since its adoption in the 2011 budget.”

In response, the DOR replied, “We received your open records request for copies of all documents which show jobs created specifically and as a direct result of the manufacturing and agriculture tax credit, since its adoption in the 2011 budget. We do not have any such records.”

According to an analysis of the tax loophole by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, 11 of the wealthiest people in Wisconsin will reap a windfall of $21 million in 2017, with no requirement that jobs be created. And, in 2017, claimants making over $1 million will be showered with tax breaks of over $161 million.

Walker and the legislative Republicans have cut public education, technical colleges and our university by record amounts. They’ve kicked tens of thousands of people off their health care. They’ve allowed our roads to crumble. It is an outrage they can’t back up their job claims with any proof

Scot Ross is executive director of One Wisconsin Now.


WEDC issues false claims of producing jobs in Sherman Park

Gov. Scott Walker’s troubled job agency has not created new jobs in Milwaukee’s Sherman Park neighborhood, despite claiming credit for 483.

Citizen Action conducted a review of reporting by Gov. Scott Walker’s jobs agency and could verify no job creation in the area, which was the site of civil unrest over the weekend.

As Citizen Action of Wisconsin documented in its statement Tuesday on the Sherman Park civil unrest, the neighborhood has borne the brunt of the outsourcing and deindustrialization that has taken place since the 1970s.

Citizen Action’s review of the Wisconsin Economic Development Agency’s database found claims of creating 483 jobs in the area. But an investigation revealed that the companies named do not actually exist in the neighborhood.

WEDC’s map on their website lists eight companies in Sherman Park receiving tax credits or related programs. Only three of them claim to have created jobs.

But a review of the companies show they do not exist in the community, despite what is indicated on the WEDC map. All of the locations are listed with the same area on WEDC’s website, which is in fact residential neighborhood:

  • Saelens Corporation, which received $400,000 in tax credits, is actually based closer to Menomonee Falls on Milwaukee’s far northwest side
  • Novation Companies, which received $750,000 in tax credits, is actually based downtown and is selling its office to a California tech company.
  • Merge Healthcare Inc., which received $500,000 in tax credits, was actually based in Hartland

Even if WEDC had created 483 jobs, that would not be nearly the scale of employment necessary to help the thousands of area residents who cannot find good jobs.

The revelation that Wisconsin flagship economic development agency is doing little to nothing for one of the most economically distressed areas in the United States is consistent with early reports by Citizen Action and others that it is emphasizing investments in wealthy suburbs. WEDC’s own website takes credit for impacting more jobs in Waukesha County (12,317) than Milwaukee County (11,889), despite Milwaukee’s much greater population and poverty rates.

Also, Walker choose to turn down over $800 million in federal money for high-speed rail, forcing a train manufacturer in the Sherman Park neighborhood to leave Wisconsin. This could have been an anchor for further economic development in the area.

“It is clear that Sherman Park and other economically devastated areas like it have been abandoned by Gov. Walker’s failed economic strategy,” said Robert Kraig, executive director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “WEDC’s misrepresentations of its job creation efforts in Sherman Park are yet another affront to area residents, who simply want real economic opportunity and their fair share of the American dream.”

“For decades, jobs within Milwaukee’s industrial core have been lost to other countries and other communities. We know investment is deeply needed, yet we haven’t seen it — and now must find answers to where the state’s flagship jobs agency is actually making its investments,” said state Rep. Evan Goyke, whose district includes part of Sherman Park. “Where did the money actually go?  As we move to build strong neighborhoods throughout Milwaukee, we are left asking questions about the state’s investment, which could be the economic foundation from which to rebuild prosperity in Milwaukee’s most economically distressed neighborhoods.”

See also:

Ex-banker to plead guilty in fraud case against WEDC recipient

WEDC approved tax credits for Walker donor who cut jobs

Dem official: WEDC illegally gave out $21 million in taxpayer dollars