Republican gubernatorial candidate Kenny Hulshof proposes tapping the state Rainy Day Fund to pay for a $265 million emergency job creation program.
Hulshof defends use of the fund in this manner, stating that national and state economic conditions constitute an emergency. The fund was created to help state government survive a severe dip in revenue or to respond to emergencies, most notably the after effects of the 1993 flood.
Under Hulshof’s proposal, businesses that create at least three jobs would receive a tax rebate equal to six percent of their added payroll. The Hulshof campaign gives as an example that a business creating jobs with annual wages totaling $150,000 will receive a rebate of $9,000. Special consideration would be given to businesses located in the inner cities and those located in the counties with the highest unemployment.
The Rainy Day Fund has provisions in the law that require it be paid back soon after it is used. Hulshof says the creation of new jobs in the state will generate more than enough tax revenue to repay the fund. He calls it a short-term effort to jump start a sagging economy, not a long-term approach to economic development which he has outlined in other proposals.