The ‘Incentives Game’ – what else are lawmakers giving away?

Here are just a few of the things legislators are doing right now in the name of ‘economic development.’

  • The I-95 Corridor Authority – creating yet another multi-million dollar economic planning agency with broad powers to “create jobs.”
  • $5 million to seven “economic development” groups and four counties: the Central SC Economic Development Alliance, the Charleston Regional Development Alliance, the Economic Development Partnership, the Lowcountry Economic Alliance, the North Eastern Strategic Alliance, the Southern Carolina Alliance, the Upstate Alliance, and Chester, Lancaster, Union, and York Counties. Some of the very legislators who allocated the $5 million sit on the boards of these groups.
  • Tax breaks for the solar energy industry – in addition to the $2 million the state has already doled out to a single solar energy firm.
  • Ten-year tax breaks to national corporate headquarters that locate or expand in South Carolina. That’s in addition to the $9 million corporate headquarter tax credits the state already offers.
  • Tax credits to companies that hire people drawing unemployment benefits.
  • Tax credits for angel investing. This would guarantee that investors in high-risk ventures could recoup a third of their money through tax credits – costing taxpayers up to $5 million annually.
  • A vast expansion of the Jobs Economic Development Authority (JEDA) – allowing the agency to use tax dollars to fund nonprofits engaged in almost any activity that has a “public benefit.”

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