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Mason City has given millions in business incentives over last decade


This news story was published on December 15, 2012.
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City Hall in Mason City

MASON CITY – Businesses in Mason City have received millions of dollars in incentives over the last decade, according to a database compiled by the New York Times.  The database is searchable by town name once you select a state.

The database may or may not be 100% complete, but it seems to have caught a lot of the big deals the city has brokered in recent memory.

Among those listed that took money from the city are Kraft, Freedom fuels, Golden Grain, Harley Davidson, Vi-COR, Assa-Abloy, Behr, Sunny Fresh, and more.

Incentives are common tools used by cities and communities to lure and keep businesses and jobs.

Left off the list is Metalcraft and other brand new deals the city is working on with its partners.  The city’s Micro-enterprise partnership with the NIACC Pappajohn Center wasn’t on the list, either.

Brent Willett of the North Iowa Corridor recently described the economic development that is taking place in Mason City and the surrounding area when he gave a quarterly report to the Mason City Council.  He described some of the tools that are used to bring business and industry to the area.

See the following graphic/screenshot of the New York Times database for Mason City (click the graphic to view larger):

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9 Responses to Mason City has given millions in business incentives over last decade

  1. Avatar

    a citizen Reply Report comment

    December 16, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    And what does Mason City have to show for it? Nothing as far as I can see.

  2. Avatar

    ConcernedCitizen Reply Report comment

    December 16, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Two businesses come to mind.

    Harley Davidson- no new jobs, gives very little back to the community.

    IC Systems – Moving out, didn’t create the jobs they promised to honor their receiving the incentives and offered low wages to low skilled workers.

    Was this publicized out of a need to prove the city actually does something?

  3. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 16, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Did any of the businesses that moved OUT of MC ask for help – maybe they would have stayed with a little encouragement. Stupid is as stupid does -and if 100 bills could speak.

    • Avatar

      Haley Reply Report comment

      December 16, 2012 at 12:52 pm

      If they joined the chamber would that have saved them? Did they ask the chamber for help? If so, what did Roobin say?

  4. Avatar

    blog Reply Report comment

    December 16, 2012 at 7:28 am

    Just go to the country club and buy the fat man a drink and you too can jump on that city giveaway program as HD did.

  5. Avatar

    Harley Race Reply Report comment

    December 15, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    Yeah, Harley hasn’t created any new jobs with their remodeling process NOR will it pay increased property taxes with all their new valuation. Come on! Harley is DOING something with their money, not like IC System. I think that Harley is really getting that part of town looking nice.

    • Avatar

      rukidding Reply Report comment

      December 16, 2012 at 10:03 am

      I agree the Harley property looks good and I think it would be great if they paid for it themselves. But I don’t think it was worth what its has and is going to cost the tax-payers. The people paid to have gas line moved and gave them for free an alley and what was it 5 or 10 years of free taxes. My opinion is we don’t give money for a retail operation.

  6. Avatar

    rukidding Reply Report comment

    December 15, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    Nothing against Harley but this is not the kind of business we should bribe to stay here. We need to lure with incentives a business that a person can raise a family on and keep our children from moving out of state for higher paying jobs. Until we understand that people will not move here for 10 an hour jobs we will never grow as a community.

  7. Avatar

    LVS Reply Report comment

    December 15, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    All that money and no new businesses. Kind of makes you want to question why we spent the money. Most of these company’s are own by corporations that certainly have enough money for expansion and some are owned by by corporations in other country’s. Do we really want to give our tax money to them? Just asking is all.