A member of the board overseeing the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation continues to see the need for reforms at the agency.
A report released last week found the job creation gave companies almost $412,000 more in tax breaks than it should have – a mistake the agency blamed on staff calculating them incorrectly. Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha said it’s bad for taxpayers and the businesses who likely had no idea they were being given more money than they qualified for. “Because it’s taxpayers money, there will have to be some repayment arrangements made that they are not expecting…and will probably find very unfair,” he said.
WEDC staff said in the memo that a review of credits given to more than 200 businesses is still underway, after which the agency will work to find an appropriate solution.
The Kenosha Democrat says members of the Assembly pushed for multiple reforms last session, which were largely rejected by majority Republicans. GOP leaders have defended the agency, formed in 2011, by noting that officials have been quick to respond when problems have been uncovered.
Barca argues that, after repeated audits have found mismanagement of taxpayer funds by WEDC staff, things need to change. “The GOP has got to answer to taxpayers as to why they refuse to have any reforms whatsoever.”