“Over the last 20 years, the state of Vermont has authorized more than $10 million in payments to Keurig Green Mountain, Inc.”
So starts a new VPR investigative piece looking into how state funds have been allocated to the large company, specifically those given through the Vermont Employment Growth Incentive program (VEGI), and their return on investment.
However, there is no report. No numbers exist to show how much of Vermont tax payer’s money has been given to the coffee giant. No reports have been filed showing how those funds have been used. No data can be shown to prove their efficacy.
Why? To again quote the VPR article - “Keurig has been approved for the most money of all companies that have become eligible for the [VEGI] payments. But exactly how much...and what they did with it? It turns out this is confidential.”
Yes, you read that right.
By design, neither the State of Vermont nor Keurig are under any requirement to disclose how much taxpayer money they receive and if they are actually accomplishing what they said they would. Further, VPR’s look into the meeting minutes from the board that oversees VEGI show that each time funding for Keurig was brought up, the board entered executive session - meaning no record exists of what was discussed and how payouts were determined. We have no way of knowing how much they got, why they got it, or how they used it.
Despite the reported $10 million in payments from the state, Keurig has laid off 455 Vermont workers since 2015.
Given Vermont’s economic situation and our myriad unfunded and underfunded liabilities and programs - more than $4 billion just for state pension and benefits - it is imperative Vermonters have access to the transparency necessary to ensure our dollars are being put to the best use they can. We MUST have transparency and oversight in our spending.
Read the full VPR article here.
This is a re-post of an article Campaign for Vermont emailed out in October 2018. Numbers have not been updated.