We’ll Take Taxpayers’ $17 Million Subsidy & Move to China, Suckers

The Tribune Review reports that another Pennsylvania company is moving to China.

A company that built saltwater-based battery systems at the former Sony Corp. plant near New Stanton will move to China, according to the organization that manages the sprawling industrial site.

The loss of Aquion is unfortunate…but the story continues:

Pennsylvania has provided about $17 million — $8.6 million in grants and another $8 million in loans — to the company, which had projected it would create an additional 341 jobs at the plant.

That's seventeen million taxpayer dollars wasted in the name of “economic development.”

But surely this is an anomaly, right? Except the “former Sony Corp. plant” land is infamous for corporate welfare flops.

Colleen recently wrote that Aquion's failure isn’t the first time, or the second time, or even the third time, but the fourth time politicians handed a corporation tax dollars to create jobs at this very same location.

Volkswagen was given more than $70 million in state aid in the 1970s but only built cars there for 10 years. A $40 million aid package was used to lure Sony to the site in the early 1990s. In 2005, the Rendell Administration gave the company another $1 million grant—to retain jobs in Westmoreland—but the company announced it was closing just two years later.

Will we never learn?!?

Our Corporate Welfare Guide shows that Pennsylvania has outspent every other state on economic subsidies, including $800 million in the last budget. This is despite countless failures—and evidence that targeted subsidies undermine job growth.

In contrast, states with lower tax burdens and fewer corporate handouts have stronger economic growth.

Doling out hundreds of millions in corporate welfare dollars, while raising taxes, is clearly a bad deal for Pennsylvania taxpayers and communities.