A Corpus Christi Caller-Times article confirms the results of a Mackinac Center investigation into solar energy company GlobalWatt's questionable application for economic development tax credits from the state of Michigan.
The Caller-Times reports that a Michigan Economic Development Corp. official told the paper that the agency "didn't check the company's claims" on the application about "upfront cash" incentives with the state of Texas and Corpus Christi. The official went on to say, "We're going to give them (GlobalWatt) the best deal we can regardless of what was offered in Texas."
The MEDC previously told The Saginaw News, "We have vetted the company" and "seen no evidence to substantiate the allegations being made against GlobalWatt."
The Caller-Times, however, also confirmed evidence uncovered by Mackinac Center Fiscal Policy Director Mike LaFaive and Communications Specialist Kathy Hoekstra which indicate the company's claims of upfront cash offers from Texas were not true:
Corpus Christi's incentive package, which was approved by the City Council in June 2009, required the company to set up an office in Corpus Christi by October 2009.
At the time of the offer, company representatives said they planned to break ground on a facility that September. The company missed that deadline, so the incentive offer was no longer valid when the company made the claim on the Michigan paperwork.
There also was no public discussion or award of a tax abatement as claimed on the forms.
The state of Texas did not offer any incentives. The company applied for a grant from the Texas Enterprise Fund — which gives incentives for job creation — but was denied.