WEDC: $250 million in Taxpayer Dollars Invested in over 3,000 jobs, $1.2 Billion in Expansion

Wisconsin’s economic development managers say $250 million in taxpayer money in 2019 could return more than a $1 billion to the state.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) on Thursday released it’s list of the top 15 projects of 2019.

These include investments in companies across the state. The top 10 projects cost taxpayers $10 million.

“2019 was a successful year for WEDC in carrying out our mission to advance and maximize opportunities for Wisconsin businesses, communities and people to thrive in a globally competitive environment,” WEDC CEO Missy Hughes said. “These companies and communities play a key role in strengthening our state’s economy by investing in Wisconsin and creating jobs that pay well.”

The top projects on the WEDC’s list are tax break deals for two paper companies. The first deal is the $1.7 million in tax credits for ND Paper Inc. that is earmarked for expansion at its mill in Biron. The WEDC says those tax credits will create 27 new jobs, but maintain 342 others.

The $850,000 in tax credits for the Nouryon Pulp and Performance Chemicals company in Howard is the second ‘investment’ on the WEDC’s list. Those tax breaks are being credited with helping to expand the company’s plant in Howard and create 56 news jobs.

In all, Hughes claims WEDC helped create or save thousands of new jobs in Wisconsin.

“The more than $1.2 billion in planned capital investments for the projects supported by WEDC this year are expected to create more than 3,165 jobs and retain almost 14,000 jobs across the state,” WEDC said in a statement.

There some deal however that have drawn some questions. The WEDC list includes $250,000 in tax credits for John Deere and $500,000 in tax credits for Menard’s. Both companies are profitable. WEDC says the tax credits will retain 768 jobs at Deere and another 2,988 jobs for Menard’s.