Do tax breaks work?

A university economist cast doubt Monday on whether Missouri’s job-creation incentives actually result in more jobs, though lobbyists for two of the state’s largest companies assured lawmakers that the tax breaks had helped them expand.

The Missouri Quality Jobs program, created under a 2005 law, provides tax breaks to businesses that add jobs with wages that at least meet the local average and offer health benefits. It functions as an entitlement to businesses — triggered in some cases by as few as 10 additional jobs — and has rapidly grown to become the state’s main job-creation incentive.

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