Little Payoff for Iowa's Business Subsidies

Unpaid loans, and 21 jobs out of 1,388 promised


DES MOINES — At least 44 companies owe Iowa nearly $8 million for loans they received in exchange for a promised 1,388 new jobs that never materialized.

The companies, instead, produced a total of 21 jobs, an Iowa Watchdog analysis found.

As of the end of June, the state wrote off $2.7 million in bad loans made to 16 of the companies, leaving taxpayers on the hook to cover the debt. The remaining businesses either face lawsuits from the state to recoup lost funds or have been ordered by a court to return the money, the analysis showed.