WEDC Looking to Ramp Up Tax Credit Revocation Following Audit

WEDC officials say they’re looking to pick up the pace on revoking tax credits from businesses that fail to meet the terms of their contracts.

During a meeting of the agency’s Audit and Budget Committee, members discussed actions being taken in response to the latest biennial WEDC audit from the state Legislative Audit Bureau. The April audit included a number of recommendations for improving WEDC’s processes, including updating procedures on tax credit revocation to do so in a more “timely manner.”

In one example, a business that received tax credits from the state indicated in March 2017 that it had lost all of the contractually required jobs that were previously created. But WEDC didn’t revoke the $125,000 in tax credits until more than three years later, in June 2020.

Another recommendation from LAB directs WEDC to change its procedures for Enterprise Zone tax credits such that credits are only awarded for wages paid to employees providing a service within the defined enterprise zone. As it stands, WEDC could be awarding these tax credits for wages paid to employees working elsewhere, LAB said.

WEDC will be providing a report in response to the audit’s recommendations to the state’s Joint Legislative Audit Committee in October.