Corporate welfare coming down the pike

I was glad to see that a former home county, Gaston County, was able to land a new business this week. Owens Corning plans to create 110 new jobs at the Gastonia Technology Park.

Goodness knows Gaston County needs the jobs, as do many neighboring counties. It’s been hit hard by the decline of the textile industry.

I saw the news from a released from Gov. Pat McCrory’s office. As I read further down the release, I saw that the state couldn’t resist offering some corporate welfare incentives to the new business.

The release included the standard, “The project was made possible in part by an award… from the state Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) program.” It went on to list some of the requirements for the corporate welfare grant, but said the company could qualify for grants equal to 75 percent of the state personal income tax withholdings from the new employees.

“Over, 10 years, the JDIG award could yield aggregate benefits to Owens Corning of up to $1.69 million upon creation of 110 new jobs,” the release read.

OK, let me get my handy calculator out: $1.69 million divided by 110 comes out to $15,363.64 per job.  Did I do my math right? Let me double-check. Yeah, I did. That’s more than $15K in corporate welfare per job the company will get over the next decade.

Later in the day, another jobs news release came from the governor’s office, this one in Rutherford County, a bit to the west of Gaston County. It announced that polymer manufacturer Trelleborg Coating Systems would bring 76 jobs to the area.

They’ll get a $440,000 corporate welfare grant from the One North Carolina Fund. Uk-oh, that’s only $5,789.47 per job. But it’s $5,789.47 more than the established businesses that get no corporate welfare pay.

The week before, the governor’s office and Commerce Department announced that RC Creations, a seafood processing company, would locate in Pender County, promising 120 new jobs. It’ll get a JDIG grant totaling up to $975,000, or $8,125 per job.

Interestingly enough, the Carteret County News-Times published a story saying that some coastal North Carolina seafood dealers weren’t all that happy about the state aiding a plant that would package imported seafood. You can read that story by clicking here.

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