State Auditor Dave Vaudt issued a report stating that the number of jobs the Iowa Values Fund has created is greatly less than what the Iowa Department of Economic Developement and top elected officials have promised. The total number of jobs actually created is less than 1/3 of jobs promised.
From the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier...
Vaudt looked at the Values Fund's outcomes as of June 30, 2006. This was a full year after the Legislature and Gov. Tom Vilsack reauthorized the program for 10 years at a cost of $50 million per year. In addition to corporate grants and loans, the program provides tax credits for companies that create new jobs, money for job training programs at community colleges, and research assistance for state universities.Vaudt gave 2 recommendations on changes that could be made to the program...
Vaudt said the 30,732 jobs that were pledged by companies last June included many jobs that may never materialize, some of which were from companies that had not yet signed contracts with the state to add the jobs.
He said the actual number of jobs related to Values Funds grants or loans is 9,275. This is employees who have been hired and were on the job.
--- There is no system in place to verify that new jobs are actually new, and not merely employees moved around within a company. Vaudt said there is no evidence companies are abusing this, but they might be able to if they tried.
--- The actual wages for Values Fund jobs sometimes fall far below the goal of 130 percent of the regional average. Vaudt said this is because benefits are included in the 130 percent calculation, which means companies with lucrative benefits can pay below 130 percent, or even below the regional average, and still get state aid.
That or scrap the program. Then use the taxpayer's money to make Iowa a better state for everyone to live in instead of giving our taxpayer's money to just a handful of large companies. Another option, that might shock some hearing this coming from a Democrat, would be to just lower taxes altogether.
The bottomline is government programs should be broad based and help a vast majority of the people or they should help the less fortanate. The Iowa Values Fund isn't making the cut on either aspect.