Under the Dome

SPOTLIGHT VIDEO: ‘Tier’ system for economic development in NC is up for debate

An old ranking system meant to reflect the need for economic aid in individual counties is at the center of a growing push for reform, with analysts arguing it skews realities and a new report from the state Department of Commerce recommending changes.

The state’s county tier system has been in place since the mid 1990s and figures into the distribution of public money and credits for job recruitment, historic downtown revitalization, industrial development and more.

But it “separates and divides N.C. — and oversimplifies the nature of prosperity and need,” says Michael Smith, president of the N.C. Economic Developers Association, one group urging legislators to adopt a new model.

Here, an Insider Spotlight video on the issue: