U.S. CREDITS &
INCENTIVES UPDATE
FALL 2020 REPORT
HICKEY, the site selection company, released their latest report on credits & incentives legislation and economic development policies in the United States.
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HICKEY, the global site selection leader, released a new report on the dynamic environment of credits and incentives across the United States. The latest edition, the U.S. Credits & Incentives Update Fall 2020 Report, provides analysis and insights on the critical trends, legislative changes, policy shifts, and proposed regulations around the nation’s state capitals and local communities.

Since early 2020, most states and communities have been forced to shift their approaches to economic development and the deployment of incentives.  With an unprecedented pandemic crisis hitting businesses across the nation, many organizations turned their attention to recovery and retention.

In the latest report, Hickey research leaders take an in-depth review of the many programs and policy changes that came as result of the pandemic response.  However, the true focus on the report are the thousands of programs and initiatives already on the books that can be leveraged to not only support growth and expansion, but also retention.

Nevertheless, as the nation recovers and looks toward the future, economic development will take on a new mission. The recent trends of transparency, efficacy, and return on taxpayer investment will certainly continue. However, we will see shifts to a vision that is more inclusive, sustainable, and dynamic to meet the bespoke needs of the community.

INSIDE THE UPDATE

(Interactive Map)

FLORIDA

Seeking lower taxes and sunnier days, nearly 1,000 Americans are reportedly moving daily to the Sunshine State amidst the pandemic crisis. While the state talent pipeline might be getting stronger by the day, economic developers no longer have a key incentive program to entice businesses to Florida.  Earlier this year, state legislators allowed the Qualified Target Industry (QTI) program to expire.  The QTI program offered tax refunds for businesses creating new jobs in targeted industries across Florida.  According to reports, the program supported the creation of more than 50,000 jobs since 2011.

WASHINGTON

Leveraging federal funds for key infrastructure investments is critical to a successful economic development strategy.  The Spokane Tribe of Indians recently received a $1.8 million grant from the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration to do just that.  The award will be directed to vital road infrastructure improvements, which are located in a federally-designated Opportunity Zone, including resurface paved roads and improve road and guard rails affected by a 2016 wildfire in the Wellpinit area.  According to the Commerce Department, the grant is estimated to generate 200 new jobs and $13 million in private investment for the tribal economy.

OREGON

Agricultural businesses in the State of Oregon may now capture bonus incentives for investments in sustainability and energy efficiency.  Through Energy Trust of Oregon, eligible businesses may capture a cash incentive worth up to 70% of project costs for qualified investments.  Under a new, limited-time program, those businesses may now realize a 30% bonus for those same investments, thus potentially receiving cash incentives worth 100% of the eligible investment.  The bonus incentive program is set to expire on December 31, 2020.

TEXAS

In what will likely be the highest profile site selection project of 2020, electric vehicle maker, Tesla, chose the Austin area for their new Cybertruck factory.  To secure the facility, Travis County will provide approximately $14 million tax breaks, which could increase if the company exceeds investment targets of $1.1 billion.  The local school district also approved roughly $46 million in tax abatements over the next 10 years.  Additional state programs are also being leveraged for the project, which is also committed to nearly 5,000 jobs.

NEW MEXICO

New Mexico businesses and residents may once again capture a key renewable energy incentive.  Signed by Governor Michel Lujan Grisham earlier this year, S.B. 29 revives a tax credit for the purchase and installation of solar thermal or photovoltaic systems.  The credit is valued at 10% of the qualified investment, with an annual taxpayer cap of $6,000, for eligible purchases and installation between March 1, 2020 through December 31, 2027.  A statewide cap on tax credits was established at $8 million per year.

ARIZONA

Debate across the Grand Canyon State is currently ongoing regarding a popular redevelopment tool.  Known as the Government Property Lease Excise Tax (GPLET), Arizona businesses may discover operating cost savings by paying an excise tax in lieu of a real property tax. Under GPLET, a property is conveyed to a government entity and then leased back to a private owner, which can allow for an abatement of the excise tax for up to eight years. Following a controversial decision this summer by a Maricopa County Superior Court judge, critics have the program have been pushing back on the use of the program.

UTAH

Officials in the Beehive State are touting the success and efficacy of their Economic Development Tax Increment Financing program, which first launched in 2005.  The economic development incentive, which provides credits of up to 30% on incremental sales, corporate, and withholding taxes for the creation of new jobs in Utah.  As a truly post-performance program, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development awarded over $150 million in the past year alone, which is tied to the proposed creation of more than 13,000 new, high-paying jobs.  When it comes to company performance, state data shows approximately 60% of companies meet their targets, with roughly 2/3 of being expanding Utah businesses.

NEVADA

Silver State officials are expected to continue the debate on incentives during the next Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) board meeting in December.  According to reports, the major policy ideas on the table will be around increasing the threshold businesses will need to meet to secure state incentives.  Program requirements which may be on the table include an increase of in-state employment mandates, higher minimum wage benchmarks, and prerequisites for employee benefits, particularly healthcare coverage.  In the meantime, GOED has approved incentives for major economic development projects in the state, most recently $25 million in abatements for a $600 million Google data center.

CALIFORNIA

Launched on July 1st, film and television productions can pursue the third generation version of the California Film and TV Tax Credit Program, also known as “Program 3.0”. Building on the success of the production incentive since 2014, Program 3.0 expands the opportunities for skills training programs for underserved communities, requires expanded reporting, and mandates new harassment policies for projects. The new rules also set aside funding support for lower-budget independent films planning to spend less than $10 million on productions. Netflix’s Gray Man, an action-thriller featuring Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans, reportedly headlines upcoming productions cleared for the tax credit. The film is estimated to bring over $100 million below-the-line wages and other qualified expenditures to the Golden State. 

OKLAHOMA

To address manufacturing businesses facing COVID-related challenges, while also supporting increased production of healthcare equipment, the Oklahoma Department of Commerce and Governor Kevin Stitt established the Oklahoma Manufacturing Reboot Program.  Awards for the program, dependent on need, ranged from $25,000 to $100,000.  Just in the 1st week alone, the state received more than 300 applications.  Ultimately, 29 companies have received awards under the program, which is supporting the purchase of machinery, CAD/CAM equipment, and software, along with workforce training and employee payroll costs.

WYOMING

Economic development is often about the art of creative partnerships to drive successful outcomes for the community.  A recent partnership in Cody, Wyoming is one that few would have ever predicted.  Since he first arrived in the northwest Wyoming community, famed rapper, fashion designer, and entrepreneur, Kanye West made an immediate impact across the frontier landscape.  Quickly becoming a local real estate magnate, West’s influential fashion brand, Yeezy, is now entering the world of manufacturing, taking on a former Cody Laboratories warehouse owned by Forward Cody.  Tied to the recent apparel partnership announcement with Gap, Yeezy is developing a prototype manufacturing center in what was meant to be a pharmaceutical campus, built initially thanks to a $2.53 million state grant in 2015.  According to reports, the facility may employ roughly 200 within the first couple years of operations, and the company expects to hire locally.

COLORADO

Prospective film and television producers in Colorado may find themselves competing for limited funding support next year.  Due to budgetary challenges, state lawmakers reduced funding for the Colorado production incentive to $250,000, down from $750,000 last year.  A proposal in the state legislature, HB 1354, would establish a transferable tax credit for productions.  The legislation, despite wide support across the film community, has not been able to move forward.


MONTANA

Film and television productions are increasingly finding an new home in Big Sky Country.  Proponents of their production incentive, the Montana Economic Development Industry Advancement Act, are touting success from the 20% rebate on eligible expenditures.  Major productions, like television-hit, Yellowstone featuring Kevin Costner, have recently moved to the state for primary filming.  The state may also have more reoccurring productions soon as a media company is reportedly evaluating a site near Missoula International Airport, which has daily direct flights to Los Angeles, for a $20 million Montana Media Hub.

IDAHO

Taking a creative approach to support Idaho businesses, state lawmakers deployed funds allocated via the federal CARES Act to bring people back to work and provide property tax relief. To offset the unemployment benefit program, eligible Idaho employers could capture up to $1,500 for returning employees to the workforce.  A total of $100 million was set aside for the initiative. Gem state lawmakers leveraged another $200 million to provide property tax relief by delivering direct funds to cover payroll of public health and safety personnel.  Supporting communities would have to waive annual rate increases and ultimately deliver 15-20% savings for businesses and residents.


KANSAS

Local professional sports executives are trying to leverage a popular bonding program to invest in a now defunct Kansas water park. Formerly known as Schlitterbahn water park, the proposal would see an infusion of $330 million into the property, which includes $130 million Sales Tax Revenue (STAR) Bonds. The economic development tool allows for Kansas municipalities to issue bonds to support financing for major entertainment, tourism, and commercial projects. The local entity then uses future sales taxes generated by the project to pay off the bonds.  Wyandotte County officials will need to approve the proposal, which could reportedly lead to reopening of park  operations by Spring 2022.

WISCONSIN

Wisconsin lawmakers have been working on a plan to further expand state incentives for businesses investing in federally-designated Opportunity Zones.  Introduced as Senate Bill 440, the legislation would allow for qualified Opportunity Zone investors in Wisconsin to exclude state capital gains taxes, in addition to the federal exclusions allowable by law.  Lawmakers already made adjustments to the state code in a similar manner in 2018 when they allowed for investors to reduce their state income tax liabilities.  Despite bipartisan support, Senate Bill 440 has not yet moved out of the Wisconsin Legislature.

ILLINOIS

Property tax revenues generated in Cook County’s Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts shattered previous annual amounts with an 11.5% increase from 2018.  According to the Cook County Clerk’s office, TIF districts in the state’s most populous county brought in over $1.3 billion 2019 alone, which included an annual increase of 10% in the City of Chicago and 26% in the north and northwestern suburbs. Altogether, the TIF revenues account for approximately 8.4% of the county’s total property tax collection. These new remarkable figures come at a time of great debate over the use of TIF in the Windy City, which includes severe budget challenges and Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s reforms announced earlier this year.

 

MISSISSIPPI

Earlier this year, Mississippi lawmakers enacted legislation to add new performance requirements on businesses receiving state incentives. Known as the Incentives Transparency for a Prosperous Mississippi Act, SB 2563, the law will create a requirement that qualified economic development projects are awarded in the best interests of the Magnolia State. Under the new law, certain applicants may be required to enter into an MOU with the state which will outline performance measures bespoke to the project. If a business does not meet the prescribed performance measures, they will be unable to participate in state incentives for a period of up to five years. An annual report will also be required to be filed by March 1 of each year.

OHIO

According to an annual state report, the majority of Ohio companies receiving incentives are maintaining compliance.  However, the rate of compliance did decrease from 2018, a continued downward trend in recent years.  Per Attorney General Dave Yost’s office, 65.1% of businesses were in compliance.  In 2017, that rate was at 78.3%, with an even higher rate of 84.8% in 2016.  Altogether, the report reviewed 149 awards valued at a total of $64 million in state incentives.

NEW YORK

With an aim to “Build Back Better”, Governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced a nearly $9 million award for the Empire State’s Workforce Development Initiative.  Leveraging federal monies, the latest funding round will support job training for more than 3,600 New Yorkers through 66 businesses, schools, and community-based organizations.  Prior to this recent allocation, nearly $12 million has been awarded for various workforce development and apprenticeship since September 2019

ALASKA

To drive investment in the coastal Alaskan city of Kenai, local officials have enacted creative development incentives. For businesses investing in an eligible city-owned property, the city will offer credits on lease payments for up to five years, along with the potential for options to ultimately purchase public land. In all, more than 300 sites have been identified for the program across the city.

HAWAII

Leveraging funds from the federal CARES Act, Hawai’i state legislators, in partnership with the state Congressional delegation, non-profit organizations, and local businesses, created a $10 million fund to support displaced workers.  The program aims to match displaced workers with businesses in emerging industries and sectors targeted by the Aloha+ Challenge, a statewide initiative to meet sustainability goals. Funding will be directed primarily for on-the-job training for displaced workers, along with recent college and high school graduates.

VERMONT

With great success from their pioneer program, Vermont lawmakers launched a next generation version of their worker relocation grant program.  The revised initiative, which is known as the New Worker Relocation Grant Program, reimburse up to $7,500 in relocation costs for moving to the Green Mountain State for work.  While the program has a similar mission as the original format, there are several major changes, including a requirement for people to work directly for a Vermont business, as opposed to working remotely, and a reduced reimbursement rate from a potential $10,000. According to the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, in 2019, the program led to the recruitment of 359 people with an average reimbursement of $3,600.


PUERTO RICO

With direct support from the Puerto Rico Department of Economic Development and Commerce’s Film Industry Development Program, the island territory is set for nearly $150 million film and television productions.  To provide financial assistance, the productions may be eligible for a 40% tax credit for spending on local spend, with additional bonus of 15%, along with 20% for non-resident expenditures.  According to media reports, the productions are projected to create approximately 3,000 jobs.

MAINE

Lawmakers and economic development officials in the Pine Tree State received positive signs from the popular Maine Historic Tax Credit (HTC) program. According to the recently released Maine Historic Tax Credit Economic Impacts Report, renovations leveraging the program has led to the addition of more than $166 million in local property tax revenues, which includes $17 million in new tax payments since 2010. Altogether, the program, which provides a state tax credit of up to 34% for eligible rehabilitation work, has generate nearly 700 new full-time workers and approximately $525 million in construction investment.  With net tax revenues of $3 million since 2016, the HTC was recently extended to 2025.

CONNECTICUT

To provide a one-stop shop for businesses in the Constitution State, Governor Ned Lamont launched an online tool, business.ct.gov. The web-based portal was developed to provide companies with guidance on various rules, regulations, and provisions bespoke to doing business in Connecticut.  Not just limited to tax forms and permitting applications, the site also on state incentive opportunities, recovery programs, and reopening guidelines, among other key provisions.


RHODE ISLAND

To support displaced workers and create career pathways to good jobs for Rhode Islanders, Governor Gina Raimondo announced the Back to Work RI initiative.  As a public-private partnership, the workforce development program will receive an infusion of $45 million, which will be leveraged from federal CARES Act funding.  The initiative will aim to deliver targeted training opportunities that will be free for eligible residents, developed in partnership with employer partners.  Bank of America and Salesforce are among the businesses stepping forward to participate and lead Back to Work RI.

MASSACHUSETTS

Businesses in the Bay State may now capture a key rebate for the purchase of electric vehicles.  Known as the Massachusetts Offers Rebates for Electric Vehicles (MOR-EV) program, funding by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs’ Department of Energy Resources (DOER) provides rebates of up to $2,500 roe the purchase or lease of battery electric and fuel-cell electric vehicles.  Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles can capture up to $1,500 in rebates through the MOR-EV initiative.  However, commercial and non-profit fleets were previously ineligible for the program.  Today, companies with eligible fleets, including those businesses that provide vehicles to employees instead of paying mileage, may capture the rebates. Public fleets are still not eligible for the MOR-EV program.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

The STEM talent pipeline in New Hampshire is about to get much stronger in coming years thanks to a recent federal grant award.  The University of New Hampshire was recently awarded a $1.2 million, 5-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a future workforce for the biotechnology sector.  Known as NH CREATES the Future: the NH Collaborative for Regenerative Medicine Education and Training for Engineers and Scientists of the Future, the program will be deliver a STEM education for up to 1,400 middle and high school students.  Core to the program’s mission, the funding will be targeted to the state’s most diverse school districts across the Granite State.


KENTUCKY

Officials in the Kentucky state capitol are currently evaluating a new major tax increment financing district on the site of their former convention center. In the Bluegrass State, local lawmakers can apply to the state’s Economic Development Cabinet for approval to set aside future tax revenues to support financial for significant development projects. The proposed district under consideration would encompass 22.2 acres of downtown real estate. Support has been positive thus far for the district moving forward, which includes a proposed boutique hotel and mixed-use development.

VIRGINIA

Despite hitting project performance commitments tied to the monumental HQ2 project agreement, Amazon did not receive the first year incentive payments from Arlington County.  As a key part of the local side of the incentive agreement, Arlington County approved $23 million in incentives tied to the ecommerce giant meeting office occupation figures.  Over a 15-year period, the company is set to receive an annual payment based on the increased collections of Transit Occupancy Tax, which is based on the total cost paid on local hotel rooms.  Unfortunately for the business, due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, the county’s transient occupancy tax revenues missed their targets as required under the deal.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

To incentivize the development of affordable housing projects in the nation’s capital, the Council of the District of Columbia approved a local low-income housing tax credit (DC LIHTC). Passed via the District of Columbia Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Clarification Amendment Act of 2020, the legislation creates a tax credit that piggybacks off of the federal LIHTC program.  If an affordable housing project is eligible for the federal LIHTC, than the project can apply up to 25% of the equivalent federal value towards local District taxes. The DC LIHTC may be used against local franchise, insurance premium, and income taxes.


PENNSYLVANIA

Keystone State lawmakers approved a new tax credit for manufacturers of fertilizers and petrochemicals from locally produced dry natural gas.  Known as the Local Resource Manufacturing Tax Credit Program, the tax credit may be awarded to eligible businesses creating at least 800 jobs and investing more than $400 million.  Manufacturers are limited to annual credit cap of $6.6 million. Similar legislation was approved earlier in the year by state legislators, but ultimately vetoed by Governor Tom Wolf.

NEW JERSEY

Robust debate has continued in the Garden State over the now-expired New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s (NJEDA) Grow NJ and Economic Redevelopment and Growth (ERG) programs.  Earlier this summer, the New Jersey Incentive Task Force, a body established by Governor Phil Murphy, released their third and final report on the efficacy and oversight of the defunct incentives.  In all, the task force made over two dozen recommendations for improvement at NJEDA.  Going forward, state economic development officials are optimistic that the New Jersey Legislature and Governor Murphy will be able to enact new incentive legislation by the end of the year. 

CONNECTICUT

With an aim to drive critical economic development projects across the First State, Governor John Carney created the Delaware Economic Development Working Group via executive order, his first in office.  Later that same year, the Delaware Prosperity Partnership (DPP) was established, a new agency tasked with economic development and job creation.  Since their first successfully fundraising in March 2018, the agency’s efforts have led to 26 successful projects. As of August 2020, these projects have created 2,736 new jobs, retained 1,139 jobs, and brought approximately $613 million in capital investment.

MARYLAND

State lawmakers, business leaders, and economic development officials came together earlier this year in opposition to a repeal of key Maryland incentive programs.  Known as the End Ineffective Business Subsidies Act of 2020, the legislation would have abolished several major state incentive programs, which included the One Maryland Tax Credit program, Opportunity Zone enhancements, and enterprise zones, among others.  Following a public hearing, the legislation did not move forward through the Maryland General Assembly.


WEST VIRGINIA

To provide a new financing tool for West Virginia businesses, Governor Jim Justice signed into law HB 4001.  The legislation established the West Virginia Impact Fund, a sovereign fund that will allow the state to serve as an official partner in investment deals.  However, the fund won’t require taxpayer dollars, as monies will come from corporations, private investors, and other sovereign investment funds.  The bill also created the Mountaineer Impact Office and an Investment Committee to search and identify potential business ventures.  The Investment Committee will consist of the Governor or their representative, the Secretary of Commerce or their representative, and five members appointed by the Governor.

ALABAMA

With two major incentive programs set to expire this year, a special session may be called in the State of Alabama.  Unfortunately, the challenges presented by COVID-19 are making the legislative return ahead of the 2021 regular session. A program providing rebates and tax credits to investing business, the Alabama Jobs Act, is set to expire on December 31st, while a program providing tax credits for donations to economic development agencies will sunset on September 31st.

INDIANA

Reforms are now in place to encourage a more “inclusive” economic development strategy in the City of Indianapolis.  Based on recommendations from a Brookings Institution commissioned report, the City, alongside Develop Indy, instituted several new evaluation metrics for the awarding of local property tax abatements.  To be eligible, projects must create new jobs with a minimum wage of at least $18/hour, provide health care benefits, and hire local employees, among other measures. An awarded company must also invest 5% of estimated tax savings into workforce support programs, which may include training, transit, and/or childcare funding. Ultimately, the abatements are reviewed on a discretionary basis and values based on the increased assessments for up to 10 years.


MICHIGAN

With businesses facing unprecedented challenges due to the pandemic crisis, Michigan economic development officials have established a temporary relief measure for a key state incentive program. For companies receiving incentives under the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF), and have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, the business can apply for the MSF Awardee Relief Initiative.  Determined on a case-by-case basis, businesses may receive temporary relief, which may include payment deferments, milestone exemptions, refinance requests, extensions of agreement execution deadlines, and re-sizing of project scopes, among others.

TENNESSEE

With budget challenges ahead of them, the Metro Nashville Council have evaluated a number of fiscal measures to address their financial hurdles. Among those under consideration included a one-year ban on city economic development incentives.  Following extensive debate, which dates back to recent years, the council voted down a resolution that would halt the use of incentives by a margin of 20-14.  Incentive programs are also facing additional scrutiny at the state level, as audits have uncovered compliance issues with active awardees of Tennessee’s FastTrack program.


NORTH CAROLINA

The Tar Heel State recently landed a major new headquarters project in the state, but to do so, lawmakers needed to make a slight change to an existing incentive program first.  State officials aimed to utilize their Site Infrastructure Development grant program to entice the United States Golf Association (USGA) to establish a second headquarters in North Carolina.  Unfortunately, the program was statutorily limited to manufacturing businesses creating at least 100 new jobs and investing at least $100 million.  As a quick fix, lawmakers approved House Bill 807, soon signed by Governor Roy Cooper, which created a new eligibility category for “sports championship employers” investing at least $5 million, hire 35 people, and maintain at least 50 jobs over a ten-year performance period.

SOUTH CAROLINA

To recruit businesses manufacturing life-saving medical products, the Lancaster County Council unanimously approved new incentives for eligible companies committing to the county.  Led by the Lancaster County Department of Economic Development, the incentive opportunities being deployed for eligible businesses include a full abatement of all property taxes for 10 years, donated land at county-owned business parks for the new facility, and fast track permitting for construction of the production facility.  Existing incentives from Lancaster County and the State of South Carolina may still also be utilized for eligible projects. 


GEORGIA

In an effort to support Georgia businesses manufacturing personal protective equipment (PPE), state lawmakers established a new job tax credit for the industry. As a key initiative included in House Bill 846, the new legislation established a $1,250 per job tax credit to eligible PPE makers for the next five years.  Qualified PPE under the program includes googles, helmets, face shields, masks, hand sanitizer, medical globes, and respirators, among other equipment.   


LOUISIANA

Louisiana lawmakers denied the passage of legislation earlier this year which would have added restrictions to state incentive reporting requirements. Supporters of the bill, which included industry associations, touted the need to protect certain personal identifiable information from being released to the public. Opponents countered that Bayou State incentive programs already do enough by exempting certain employee data from collection, including social security numbers. The legislation initially passed the state Senate with ease, before being shut down in a state House committee.

ARKANSAS

Incentive programs are often leveraged to drive capital investment and development into targeted communities.  Little Rock officials have introduced a new incentive package to just that for the Asher Avenue area, a region of the city which has been historically left behind from economic activity. The new incentives, which are still under development, would provide direct support from the city, along with fee reductions and waivers from Central Arkansas Water and the Little Rock Water Reclamation Authority.

MISSOURI

Kansas City officials have been working on new ordinances to change the way award property tax abatements.  In recent months, the city council has debated how best to incentivize sustainable development, while protecting school district funding.  An early proposal would have seen a prohibition on abatements within certain school districts, unless located in designated zones or in severely distressed tracts.  More recent proposals have lessened the broad restrictions, but instead would require pre-approval in writing from the respective school district.  Development projects already approved will not be impacted by the new rules, unless there is a major amendment affecting the local area.

IOWA

Access to reliable, fast internet is core to economic development, and the State of Iowa recently deployed $50 million to improve rural broadband connectivity. Leveraging federal CARES Act funding, Governor Kim Reynolds announced the allocation to be distributed via the Empower Rural Iowa Broadband Grant Fund. Recent amendments approved by Iowa lawmakers to the program provided guidance to the funding release, which was a ten-fold increase in Investment from the previous year.  Communication Service Providers who install broadband infrastructure in or facilitate broadband service were eligible to receive funds. Another round of funding is expected yet again this calendar year.

MINNESOTA

A recent academic report showed strong results for the popular Minnesota Bioincentive Program, a production incentive for businesses producing biobased industrial products.  According to the University of Minnesota Extension’s Center for Community Vitality and the Great Plains Institute study, the incentive program has generated an estimated $1.2 billion of economic activity, including $540.6 million in labor income, supported the employment of 8,325 workers, and increased tax collects by $46.5 million.  The report further estimates that for every tax dollar invested in the incentive program, approximately $407 is generated in the economy, with just under $9 in tax collections.

SOUTH DAKOTA

Earlier this year, Governor Kristi Noem created a new workforce development program aimed at supporting displaced workers in the Mount Rushmore State.  Referred to as UpSkill, the initiative consists of 22 online certificate programs in highly sought after industries, including information technology, manufacturing, and healthcare, among others.  The initiative, which will be at little or no cost for participants will be delivered through the state’s technical colleges.

NORTH DAKOTA

To encourage development throughout the state, North Dakota officials have now successfully leveraged the Renaissance Program across 58 cities.  Recently, North Dakota Department of Commerce renewed the incentive designation for West Fargo.  Since initially deploying the program in 2000, local economic development officials have had 90 successful projects.

NEBRASKA

With their state’s major incentive programs approaching expiration and a stirred debate on property tax relief, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts signed into law, LB 1107.  The legislation, which included key pieces from three different heavily-debated bills, provides property tax credit relief for Cornhusker State residents, an additional $375 million in income tax credits, and reforms and renews business tax incentives, which primarily come from the former Nebraska Advantage Act.  LB 1107 also included support for a federal investment bid for the University of Nebraska Medical Center.  Following a pandemic-induced, multi-month recess, the unicameral legislature reconvened in late July, with a particular focus on passing this economic development legislation.

WEBINAR

To learn more about the report findings, as well as, the best practices and location strategies to mitigate risk and drive a sustainable business environment, HICKEY experts will be hosting a virtual learning session. To register for the complimentary webinar session, please register now.

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