More than 8,000 new jobs could be lured to North Carolina under a new corporate incentive program included in the state budget, House Speaker Tim Moore said Thursday.
Moore explained a budget provision that would allow larger incentive packages for companies that invest more than $4 billion in the state and create at least 5,000 jobs. Those companies wouldn’t be subject to the state’s current cap on incentive packages.
“We’re on the cusp of maybe landing a major industry in this state,” Moore said.
The provision is part of the larger budget compromise that passed the House in a final 77-38 vote Thursday, sending the bill to Gov. Roy Cooper. Cooper is expected to veto the budget over concerns about tax cuts and the level of teacher raises, among other issues, but both the House and Senate have enough votes to override a veto.
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While Moore said he could not provide many details about the company considering North Carolina, he said it would involve “8,600 jobs in one facility.” Negotiations for corporate relocations are typically a secretive process, and information isn’t released until after the deal is final.
Asked if the company is an auto manufacturer, Moore wouldn’t say but compared the potential economic impact to that of the BMW car plant in Greenville, S.C., where the company’s presence has brought parts manufacturers and other related companies to the area.
“You’re talking thousands and thousands of jobs,” he said.
The new incentives would come through the state’s existing Job Development Investment Grant. Supporters of JDIG argue that the incentives pay for themselves, because the program pays companies based on a percentage of the new tax revenue their jobs generate; no money is paid until the company meets job and investment requirements.
Under the new “transformative project” provision in the budget, a large company could get a refund of up to 100 percent of its tax bill for up to 25 years. The current program has a maximum of 20 years. The N.C. Department of Commerce is responsible for reviewing and awarding JDIG grants.
Moore said it’s important that the state won’t count the “transformative project” grants toward the statewide, $35 million cap on JDIG awards because “you don’t want that one project to gobble up everything.”
Moore declined to provide any details about the location the company is considering. But when North Carolina tried to lure a Volvo plant in 2015 – and lost out to South Carolina – the automaker considered three “megasites” the state is marketing to major manufacturers.
The three sites are located in Edgecombe County near Rocky Mount, Randolph County near Greensboro and Chatham County near Siler City.
If North Carolina succeeds in luring the major employer, Moore said the deal will happen this year.