Regarding the Feb. 17 Under the Dome item “Jobs fall short of promises, study finds”: What the N.C. Justice Center deemed “failure” is actually proof that the system works as intended.
Companies that were not able to meet their job creation obligations under JDIG did not continue to receive the benefits of the program and were required to repay any funds that were distributed. The vast majority of the so-called “failed” companies are still in business, still employing North Carolina workers and still paying taxes. They simply did not meet the targets required of them.
Any discussion of the success or failure of JDIG must take into consideration that the period the N.C. Justice Center references in its study (2002-present) was punctuated by the most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression.
The important thing is that when the companies did not meet the requirements, taxpayers were protected by the structure of the program, which is both self-funding and performance-based.
While it is certainly true that not every project turns out the way the state or the company desires, the greater truth is that without competitive incentive policies, the projects with the greatest opportunity for long-term success and impact will go to states that are willing to make an investment in their future.
Executive director, North Carolina Economic Developers Association