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Government & Politics

Yost Reviews State Incentives for Economic Development Projects

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Attorney General Dave Yost sees a need for greater accountability when incentives are awarded for job creation.

Attorney General Dave Yost says he doesn’t like some of what he found in a review of state incentives for economic development projects in the final year of former Gov. John Kasich’s administration. He’s pushing some changes to the way the state awards grants, loans and tax credits.

Yost says half of nearly $14 million in state economic development loan awards from 2018 were not compliant with applicable laws, and a third of tax credit awards worth almost $5 million weren’t compliant. And he says none of 34 roadwork development grants had firm job creation requirements. But Yost says he doesn't think taxpayers are getting ripped off.

"I wouldn’t go that far. But I think that this report shows that there are issues over there that this program could be run more robustly with greater accountability," Yost said. 

Yost says among the changes he'd like is a ban on modifying incentive deals after terms are agreed to and clawbacks if it's determined that targets weren't achieved. He says the report isn't about fixing blame, but fixing the system.