The New York Times has launched an interactive database showing business incentives awarded by states and local communities aimed at getting companies to open their doors nearby instead of somewhere else.
Several interesting points on how the Tar Heel State fares compared to the rest of the Union:
- North Carolina spends $660 million annually on incentive programs.
- 3 percent of North Carolina’s budget goes to incentive programs, which amounts to $69 per capita.
- In addition the multi-billion dollar bailout General Motors received from the U.S. government, the automaker also used by far the most tax incentives of any company in the United States – at least $1.76 billion, mostly from Michigan.
- Illinois-based Caterpillar Inc. also ranked high on the list of companies taking incentives, with at least $199 million since 2007, most of which comes from the Tar Heel State. CAT has received $87.9 million in incentives from North Carolina since 2008, more than any other company operating here.
- Fidelity Investment Services Inc. received a one-time grant from North Carolina in 2006 worth $72.8 million, making it the No. 2 company to cash in on Tar Heel incentives.
- No. 3 to 10 companies using North Carolina incentives: Siemens ($66.9 million), Electrolux ($48.6 million), General Electric ($46.6 million), Merck & Co., Inc. ($41.3 million), Dell ($37 million), Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company ($33.2 million), Quintiles Transnational Corp. ($31.6 million), Bridgestone Corp. ($30 million)
- Neighboring states offer more incentives by total cost but also per capita: $869 million in South Carolina or $194 per capita; $1.58 billion in Tennessee or $249 per capita; $1.29 billion in Virginia or $161 per capita.
- North Dakota and South Dakota, which rank No. 1 and 3 respectively in unemployment, provide among the fewest incentives of any state by total cost and per capita. They have been buoyed by an oil boom. Nevada offers similarly few incentives but ranks dead last in unemployment.
- Texas by far leads the way in total cost spent on incentives, giving $19.1 billion per year via various state and local programs; at $991 per resident, Alaska leads in per capita spending, but the state has no sales tax individual income tax and operates instead on taxes on industry.