<div style="text-align: center"><img src="/files/u2/Minnesotacapitol.jpeg" title="Minn Capitol" alt="Minn Capitol" height="94" hspace="3" vspace="3" width="125" /></div>Minnesota has been giving tax breaks to companies adding jobs in "zones" outside the state's urban areas. The 2003 legislation that set up this tax break program called these areas Job Opportunity Building Zones — or JOBZ.<br /><br />So, has JOBZ worked in rural Minnesota? Who knows? It's not done much for less populated areas of the state, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. And like so many of these tax break programs, the information that would allow one to measure the effectiveness of the program isn't made public. The companies receiving tax breaks are required to report their employment to the state, but the state doesn't double check these tallies. <br /><br />The <a href="http://www.startribune.com/local/12840616.html?page=2&c=y" target="_blank">Star-Tribune reported</a> on this dubious rural development program and the paper's <a href="http://www.startribune.com/opinion/editorials/13022361.html" target="_blank">editorial page</a> has urged the legislature to take a hard look at JOBZ. Minnesota, meanwhile, is facing a $373 million deficit.