Last night the NC Senate unanimously approved an expansion of the state’s Job Development Investment Grant program (JDIG), which is a taxpayer-funded handout to companies meeting politically-invented “job creation” thresholds (translation: mostly hires people away from competitors).
The compromise would increase the cap on incentive awards to $20 million a year. The cap would be increased to $35 million for any year in which the state has a “high-yield” jobs deal where a company invests at least $500 million and adds at least 1,750 jobs.
Those companies would be eligible for more generous incentives. That provision is aimed at attracting a large manufacturer, such as an auto plant.
In the state’s wealthiest counties, local governments would need to add incentives of their own in order to qualify for a JDIG grant. And companies willing to locate in poorer counties could receive more generous awards.
The bill also extends targeted tax credits for aviation fuel, technology data centers and professional motorsports teams. This agreement is a slightly modified version of the “NC Competes Act”, which was dubbed a Civitas Bad Bill of the Week this spring.
In other news, the Senate Finance Committee unveiled their plan for a $2 billion bond.
The Senate version of House Bill 943 would put the bond on the ballot in November 2016, rather than on the March primary ballot as the House version did…..
The $2 billion Senate plan, smaller than the House’s $2.85 billion proposal, would divide the money among universities, community colleges, National Guard facilities, water and sewer infrastructure needs, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the North Carolina Zoo.
Nearly half the funding – $921 million – would be earmarked for projects within the University of North Carolina system. The list includes 11 projects at campuses statewide – substantially leaner than the House proposal for 18.
If the bond passes, NC taxpayers would be on the hook not only for the $2 billion in new debt, but for hundreds of millions in interest payments on the debt as well.