Category Archives: JOBZ

There are Jobs, and then there is JOBZ.

In 2003, the Minnesota Legislature enacted an economic development program called JOBZ that attempts to promote economic growth in Greater Minnesota through a variety of tax subsidies.  I think it is fair to say that much of the Red Wing Port Authority’s work in the past two to three years has been involved with the JOBZ program.  That would likely be the case in many Minnesota communities.

In 2008, The Office of the Legislative Auditor stated, “We found that JOBZ has been used appropriately in some cases and helped create jobs. But we also found significant problems with the program’s design and implementation, resulting in some cases of ineffective and inappropriate use of tax subsidies.”

Some business subsidies under JOBZ have a direct local impact by way of an exemption from local property taxes, while at the same time have a state revenue impact in terms of breaks for sales, income, and corporate taxes.  Measuring the cost versus benefit is no small task.

Legislative Auditor’s Summary Report

Legislative Auditor’s Full Report

MN. Dept. of Revenue:  JOBZ Tax Exemptions

JOBZ Statewide Report 9/25/2009


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Filed under Accountability, Economic Development, JOBZ, Minnesota, Red Wing, Red Wing City Council, Red Wing Port Authority

Business Subsidies: Accountability and Transparency

How much are we paying to get jobs through subsidies?   That is indeed the big question.  Subsidies include property tax abatements, tax increment financing, JOBZ programs and others.  The information below should give you an idea at least of the process involved in granting subsidies.  Measuring the value or success of a subsidy is another matter that the community needs to address.

“Former DFL Senator Hottinger sponsored Minnesota’s groundbreaking law instituting new standards of transparency and accountability for state and local economic development subsidies. The 1995 law and its subsequent enhancements required that companies who receive public subsidies but fail to reach job creation goals repay the subsidy with interest. The legislation also mandated increased corporate disclosure, wage standards for the jobs created, and public hearings before large subsidies could be granted. The law is credited with recouping millions of dollars in state funds and increasing civic engagement around issues of economic development.”

Below is a link to an excellent video about how Minnesota has addressed issues of accountability and transparency in business subsidies, and to understand the process currently in use in Red Wing and throughout the State.  This video quickly helped me get a better understanding of our current system.

You can get the link to the video here, or download the mp3 podcast.   This link will take you to the Minnesota Dept. of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) page on Business Subsidy Reporting.  Minn. Stat. §116J.94 is the statute on regulating business subsidies.

Kent D. Laugen

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Filed under Accountability, Economic Development, JOBZ, Minnesota, Red Wing, Red Wing City Council, Red Wing Port Authority

Economic Development Digital Library for the Community

I am in the process of building a digital library for the community on the broad topic of economic development.  The library will contain articles, documents, video and other links.

Your input is invaluable, so please let me know what you’d like to see added to the library.

I am still in the process of learning the capabilities of WordPress, so you’ll have to bear with me.  (any WordPress geeks out there?)  In the meantime, clicking on a category should direct you to a post that will have a link to a document of interest. Hopefully, I’ll soon have a link that you can go to that will show all documents in the Community Digital Library.

Kent D. Laugen

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Filed under Accountability, Economic Development, Education, Internet & Technology, JOBZ, Minnesota, P.A.C.E., Red Wing, Red Wing City Council, Red Wing Port Authority, Sustainability