WNPR

General Assembly May Get Involved In Tax Incentives Controversy

Apr 25, 2018

Legislative leaders say they may consider a special session to look at potential problems with the state’s tax incentive programs for businesses. An audit of economic development incentives administered by state officials has found inaccuracies in both the level of tax credits and the amount of job creation achieved by the companies that benefited. 

The Auditors of Public Accounts took a look at a range of incentive programs run by the Department of Economic and Community Development. Their report says some companies benefit under several different programs, which meant that their job creation levels were double counted.

Asked by reporters about the controversy, House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz said it’s appropriate for the legislature to get involved. There likely won't be an opportunity to address the concerns in the closing weeks of the regular session, but he wouldn't rule out the possibilty of returning in special session.

“If we’re saying we’re going to put money towards economic development, which whether we like it or not, other states are, there should be clear, concise and accurate records kept to ensure we’re getting what we were promised we were getting in the job creation in the ongoing investment of the state,” said Aresimowicz.

Aresimowicz and other legislators met personally with the auditors Wednesday.

DECD Commissioner Catherine Smith has said she’s going to take steps to address the concerns raised in the report.