Companies receive incentives, fail to deliver jobs

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ATLANTA — State records show many companies that have been awarded expansion grants have fallen short of delivering the number of jobs they promised to state officials looking to bolster economic development.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Sunday that a group of companies awarded more than $106 million in public grants fell short of producing the number of jobs they promised by about 42 percent.

Georgia’s accountability agreement calls for companies receiving public grants to deliver at least 80 percent of the jobs they promised to fulfill legal obligations.

In 2005, the state implemented a 70 percent job creation requirement that would allow state officials to recoup some or all of the grant if the companies don’t meet the benchmark. Georgia Department of Eco­nomic Development Commissioner Chris Cummiskey increased the standard to 80 percent, citing concerns that the previous one was too lenient.

Greg LeRoy, the executive director of Good Jobs First and a critic of state economic development incentives, said between a third and 40 percent of companies that are awarded publicly financed job creation grants fall short of their promises. Several companies that have been awarded grants have also either folded or have laid off workers in other parts of the state.

Brian Willamson, the deputy commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs told the newspaper that accountability requirements have improved over the years. His department administers the grants.

The incentive packages have led to some success stories in the state. Newell Rub­bermaid, the Crider chicken canning plant in southeast Georgia and Bass Pro Shops in middle Georgia created more jobs than they had promised.

However, unlike Texas – a leader in providing incentive packages – Georgia doesn’t post an online scorecard tracking whether companies are delivering a certain number of jobs by a certain date. Officials post grant recipients online, but information on whether they’ve met their job creation goal is stored in paper files, and some are kept in archives.

“This information should absolutely be more easily accessible,” said Alan Essig, head of the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute.

Critics say Georgia needs more effective ways to determine whether businesses are doing what they’ve promised with public money. The companies aren’t necessarily given a check for the grant amount, but the money is given to local development authorities that buy property, improve buildings and buy equipment to help the businesses expand.

“As much concern as there is about whether these incentives are effective, we have just seen a massive increase in their use,” said Marty Romitti, senior vice president at the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness. His group considered Georgia among the most generous states in terms of offering tax breaks and grants in 2012.

“We do not have to match other states dollar for dollar, but we have to be in the ballpark,” Cummiskey said.

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iaaffg
3152
Points
iaaffg 03/31/14 - 04:08 am
6
1
so do they have to give back
Unpublished

so do they have to give back the money they didn't use? or do they get to keep it? where's the money? who is spending the money? what are they spending it on, if not jobs? who is being held accountable for the money?

corgimom
38321
Points
corgimom 03/31/14 - 05:00 am
6
0
It's a scam, and they take

It's a scam, and they take full advantage of it.

Truth Matters
8084
Points
Truth Matters 03/31/14 - 05:20 am
4
1
Why are we giving out

Why are we giving out incentives like these if the unemployed are just "lazy and don't want to work?"

TrukinRanger
1748
Points
TrukinRanger 03/31/14 - 05:45 am
0
0
They took the money under
Unpublished

They took the money under false pretenses, blew it and expect to be treated like most other companies in this country- left alone and not pursued. Why not do like the article says- post the list of recipients online and how they're doing in making their "goals".... (the goal of creating more jobs, NOT giving CEO's bonuses or raises)

seenitB4
97254
Points
seenitB4 03/31/14 - 06:01 am
6
1
Fell short by 42%

Now that is a whopping failure...who watches the hen house here?

Maybe coulda-- woulda won't get it.

Bizkit
35500
Points
Bizkit 03/31/14 - 07:26 am
3
2
Who awards the grants and

Who awards the grants and under what conditions-Gosh this sounds just like Obama picking winners and losers, footing their bills ,and not seeing a big return either. See not much difference between Dems and Reps. Why you should never vote for either party.

Little Lamb
48969
Points
Little Lamb 03/31/14 - 08:20 am
1
1
No Action

Here is what the unnamed reporter wrote:

In 2005, the state implemented a 70 percent job creation requirement that would allow state officials to recoup some or all of the grant if the companies don’t meet the benchmark. Georgia Department of Eco­nomic Development Commissioner Chris Cummiskey increased the standard to 80 percent, citing concerns that the previous one was too lenient.

Here is what the unnamed reporter did not do — he did not find the department who is responsible for recouping the money from the shirking companies. He did not get a statement from a government official in that department. He did not follow through. The Associated Press is a hollow shell of what it was in the old days. They used to have hard-hitting reporters.

KSL
143582
Points
KSL 03/31/14 - 08:38 am
2
1
How about how much money has

How about how much money has been recouped from those wko j
failed to hold up their end of the bargain?

lovingthesouth72
1408
Points
lovingthesouth72 03/31/14 - 09:44 am
2
1
Bad idea

Bad policies give bad results. The economic policies of this administration are chocking the oxygen out of the American economy.

edcushman
7930
Points
edcushman 03/31/14 - 11:57 am
2
1
"Why are we giving out
Unpublished

"Why are we giving out incentives like these if the unemployed are just "lazy and don't want to work?"
TM, there are many people out of work because of the economic policies of the community organizer. Then we have the deadbeats and most are Obama supporters.

Truth Matters
8084
Points
Truth Matters 04/01/14 - 03:19 pm
0
0
@edcushman

"TM, there are many people out of work because of the economic policies of the community organizer."

My sarcasm may have fallen flat. However, if you noticed I put certain words in quotation marks because that is what many on the right say about the unemployed. I do not blame the unemployed for being unemployed.

Maybe when Boehner passes that "jobs bill" the unemployed will find relief. And jobs are being created under the "community organizer," just not fast enough given the gravity of the depression we experienced.

But as long as you people consider everyone else to be a dead beat, your party is not likely to lift a finger to help create a climate where jobs can grow.

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