Kate Nagle and the GoLocalProv news team have dipped into a topic that has likely nagged at a lot of Rhode Islanders who follow the news:
Governor Gina Raimondo has repeatedly claimed that the $32 plus million in public subsidies will create 1,000 new permanent jobs in Rhode Island [at the I-195 Wexford development]. After weeks of requesting information about tenants, rents, and job creation, GoLocal was finally able to secure actual job numbers for the project and then fact check those claims.
In fact, actual jobs created will be closer to 80 to 90, at a cost of more than $32 million.
The two tricks of the higher estimate (which might even make the 80-90 projection high) are:
- The jobs are estimated based on square footage, and a key tenant, Cambridge Innovation Center (CICO), will actually just be renting out space to start ups, which may or may not utilize the space in accordance with the rule-of-thumb guest.
- Many of the claimed jobs, from Brown University and CIC, would have been created whether or not taxpayers gave Wexford such heavy subsidies, simply in other spaces.
I recently described how the Wexford-Brookings-CIC package is being sold for taxpayer handouts around the country. GoLocal’s review of the jobs claims certainly advances the impression that Rhode Island has merely bought into a pitch. If that’s the case, the next question is whether progressive Democrat Governor Gina Raimondo was duped or is in on the scam.