Documents: WEDC failed to do formal review on 26 business incentives worth $124.4 million

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. handed out 26 business incentives worth $124.4 million during its first 15 months without first performing a formal review through its underwriting department, the agency said late this afternoon.

The biggest of those awards was a $62.5 million tax credit to Kohl’s Department Stores Inc. The credit was part of a deal expected to create 3,000 jobs, but only 473 came to fruition, according to hundreds of pages of documents WEDC released this afternoon.

The documents covered 371 awards WEDC handed out between July 1, 2011, and June 30, 2013. An agency spokesman said the awards were still reviewed by WEDC staff and management.

WEDC released the documents to the media after sharing them with board members following questions from Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca and Sen. Julie Lassa, both of whom serve on the board.

In a letter from WEDC Secretary and CEO Reed Hall, he wrote more than 1,100 awards have been approved since the agency’s inception.

See the agency statement on the release of the documents: