WEDC Head Says Most Tax Breaks Tied To Wages

10/6/11 – Wisconsin’s new public-private job creation agency says it’s very concerned about attracting jobs that pay higher wages. Paul Jadin, who heads the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, tells the Madison Capital Times he was surprised to learn how much the state’s average incomes had gone down. The U-S Census Bureau said last year’s median household income was just over 49-thousand-dollars in the Badger State – down from 57-thousand a decade earlier, when adjusted for inflation. And those smaller paychecks must cover things like food which costs almost 12-percent more than a year ago – and health insurance which costs over nine-percent more. Jadin’s agency provides taxpayer incentives for companies to locate and expand in Wisconsin. And in June, he said a new policy was established that 85-percent of companies getting state assistance must pay at least 150-percent of the minimum wage for the new jobs it adds. That comes out to 10-dollars-and-88-cents an hour – still close to the poverty level of 22-thousand-dollars plus for a family of four. Jadin said his commission has turned down companies wanting state assistance while paying only the minimum wage. He says they’ve turned down state money for call centers paying eight-dollars-an-hour.