Database Offers New Insights into Wisconsin Business Subsidy Spending

Monday, December 21, 2015 at 8:39 PM by

Good Jobs First (GJF) announced today that Wisconsin taxpayers can now access nine years of economic development subsidy data in the organization’s searchable Subsidy Tracker database.  The enhanced and expanded database developed by GJF now includes information about nearly 2,200 state and local subsidies for businesses in Wisconsin, totaling more than $1.8 billion. 

The updated database adds nearly 30,000 new entries across the U.S. from 160 state and local programs, and 138 federal ones. Access to the database is free and unrestricted at: According to Philip Mattera, who is the Good Jobs First research director and heads the work on Subsidy Tracker:

New Subsidy Tracker enhancements allow for a fuller picture of which companies benefit most from lucrative corporate tax breaks. By overcoming clunky government websites and matching subsidiaries to parents, we make subsidy data user-friendly for journalists, non-profits, academics, concerned citizens, and policymakers.” 

Today’s enhancements to Subsidy Tracker mean that the database now covers 302,000 state and local subsidy awards across the U.S. (from 604 state and local programs) and 178,000 federal awards (from 138 federal programs). 

According to the GJF database, the largest corporate subsidies in Wisconsin are the following:

  • Brunswick/Global Marine – $123 million
  • Kohl’s – $87.5 million
  • Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance – $50 million
  • Quad Graphics Inc. – $46 million
  • Oshkosh Corporation – $35 million 

Greg LeRoy, GJF’s executive director, commented on the need for additional data about corporate subsidies in Wisconsin: 

“The fight for transparency in Wisconsin isn’t over. While a number of details do get disclosed in a public database, recent revelations have shaken the public’s trust in what gets reported. Better data about how the state verifies outcomes on subsidy deals is needed.”

Jon Peacock

Categories: Blog, corporate tax, economic development, JOBS & THE ECONOMY, tax expenditures | Comments Off on Database Offers New Insights into Wisconsin Business Subsidy Spending

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