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Report: Recession forces taxpayers to eat increasing number of unpaid biz loans

GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - The Great Recession forced local taxpayers to eat growing numbers of unpaid loans that Wisconsin communities gave to local businesses.

Gannett Wisconsin Media checked business loans award by over 40 municipal governments during the decade ending in 2013.

Only a handful of business loans had to be written off before 2008, when the financial markets nearly collapsed. After that, however, the numbers of write-offs averaged around a dozen each year throughout the 40-plus communities.

Gannett -- which puts out 10 daily newspapers in Wisconsin's mid-section -- said the local development panels averaged a total of 67 loans each year.

In Green Bay, a start-up firm called Plastic Composites was given a $125,000 loan to convert milk jugs into plastic lumber. Gannett said the recession forced most of that loan to be written off, due to a reduced demand for building materials.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)