Audit: JOBZ Has Flaws

A new report gives Gov. Tim
Pawlenty’s premier rural economic development initiative a mixed review.

Legislative Auditor James
Nobles found that the JOBZ program has drawn some out-of-state businesses to Greater
Minnesota, but it is not targeting the most economically stressed areas and has
troubled administrative procedures.

"We found that
JOBZ has been used appropriately in some cases and helped create jobs," Nobles
wrote. "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."

Democratic lawmakers have
been critical of the Job Opportunity Building Zones program in the past, and
they likely will cite the legislative auditor’s report as reason to change the
program — or scrap it altogether — during the upcoming legislative session.