And Iowa's Legislature created a committee last year to review every incentive every five years, in part in response to a large number of tax breaks given to ethanol and biodiesel companies as those industries grew.
"We experienced a several-year period there where there was a lot of build up," Iowa Economic Development Authority spokeswoman Tina Hoffman said. "It just became apparent as you make those awards on the front end, you don't know what the full outlay is going to be (without some evaluation)."
But some states criticized in the report dispute Pew's findings.
Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield said his state last year agreed to provide $91.48 million in tax breaks and other corporate incentives, including $20 million to a Chinese company planning to build a copper tubing plant.
Canfield said his agency can't afford to review the job-creation figures and wage targets called for in every tax-break deal it makes, it does review a number of them and cut the size of tax breaks it provides when warranted.
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