NC ranked third among states for incentive transparency

Posted by Katie Reilly on January 30, 2014 

North Carolina received one of the highest rankings in a new report that rates states on how well they disclose information about companies that get economic development subsidies.

The Good Jobs First report – titled “Show Us the Subsidized Jobs” – ranked North Carolina third with an average disclosure score of 48 percent, topped only by Illinois (65 percent) and Michigan (58 percent).

The nonprofit research organization that is critical of state incentive projects scored states on their transparency regarding the subsidy value, projected and actual number of jobs created, promised and actual wage rates, and company information for 246 key economic development subsidy programs.

“With unemployment still high, Americans need to know how many jobs and what kind of wages and benefits their taxpayer investments are generating,” said Good Jobs First Executive Director Greg LeRoy in a statement.

North Carolina was identified as one of only six states that practices consistency by providing online recipient reporting for all of the key programs examined by the report, which were the Film Production Tax Credit, Job Development Investment Grant, One North Carolina Fund, tax credits for new and expanding businesses and the William S. Lee tax credits.

Tax credits for new and expanding businesses and the William S. Lee tax credit received the lowest scores of the group after failing to adequately report their award status, wages, and project and company information.

But the state’s ranking may change in the future as Gov. Pat McCrory’s adminstration moves to privatize some economic development functions. Good Jobs First released a report in October highlighting problems with public-private job recruiting partnerships that put a focus on transparency.

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