State Politics

NC House committee OKs McCrory’s jobs incentives plan

Gov. Pat McCrory’s N.C. Competes plan for jobs incentives passed its first hurdle Tuesday in the state House finance committee, despite opposition from several top Republicans and Democrats who opposed the bill.

The vote tally was 30-9 in the committee. The bill now heads to the House appropriations committee, likely Tuesday afternoon, and it could be debated in the full House on Wednesday.

The proposal doubles the cap on the Job Development Investment Grant, which is largely out of money to lure major employers to the state. The McCrory administration has worked closely with House Republicans to draft the bill, and Commerce Secretary John Skvarla was on hand Tuesday to lobby for the measure.

More money for JDIG – which would be renamed – is one of several sweeteners in the bill that is intended to lure employers who add thousands of jobs. Others include:

▪ $20 million in funding for an infrastructure grant program that helps companies build new industrial sites. That fund – the Site Infrastructure Development Fund – was largely depleted by a 2004 grant to lure Merck Pharmaceuticals to Durham and was never replenished.

▪ A narrowly tailored tax break for major manufacturing facilities locating in one of the state’s poorest areas. The so-called “single sales factor” modification recalculates the company’s tax burden for a lower rate. But under the bill, the formula would only apply to companies investing $1 billion or more in what the state considers a high-poverty county.

▪ An expansion of electricity sales tax credits for technology data centers. The bill would apply the existing break to centers housing equipment for multiple companies.