NC chasing 8,600-job operation
Posted June 23
Raleigh, N.C. — North Carolina business recruiters are trying to land an industry expansion that could bring 8,600 jobs to the state, House Speaker Tim Moore said Thursday.
Shortly before the House gave final approval to the proposed $23 billion state budget, Moore and other Republican legislative leaders touted the highlights of the spending plan, from teacher raises to tax cuts to Hurricane Matthew relief, and urged Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper to sign it.
One provision in the budget, Moore said, would boost economic incentives for a "transformative project" locating in North Carolina. The legislation defines such a project as a company that invests at least $4 billion in an operation in the state and creates 5,000 jobs.
Under the proposal, such businesses would be eligible for rebates of state withholding taxes on the jobs for up to 25 years. The budget exempts transformative projects from a $20 million annual cap on such awards statewide.
"We're on the cusp as a state of potentially landing a major industry in this state, and we have now funded one of the most robust economic development packages in the history – certainly it's the most robust in the history of this state and one of the most robust in the country – to show that North Carolina is serious," Moore said.
The incentives would combine with the lower corporate income tax rates included in the budget, a more favorable regulatory environment and North Carolina's community college workforce training programs to give recruiters "every tool in the toolbox," he said.
"We knew what the Department of Commerce wanted and needed. We took that and we actually made it a little more robust," he said.
Cooper's staff worked with lawmakers on crafting the policy, spokesman Ford Porter said.
Moore, Porter and Mary Wilson, a spokeswoman for the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, which handles business recruitment for the state, declined to comment on what type of industry recruiters are pursuing or where in North Carolina a plant might be located. An announcement is expected sometime this year.
"We know the industry, but I don't want to comment any more than that. It's something we would be very glad to have," Moore said. "This is not a misstatement on the number. One is potentially 8,600 jobs in one facility."
Reuters reported North Carolina is on the list of states being considered by iPhone assembler Foxconn for a $7 billion display plant, but The Associated Press and Bloomberg News say the China-based company is focusing its attention on several Great Lakes states.
Moore compared the possibility to BMW's auto plant in South Carolina, which lured supplier plans to the area as well.
"You're talking thousands and thousands of jobs," he said. "So, when it's called a transformative initiative, it truly is transformative for the state."