• 45°

Incentives gap narrow as NC lost Mercedes HQ to Georgia

By Emery P. Dalesio

AP Business Writer

 

RALEIGH (AP) — North Carolina officials are looking back at a second failed effort to attract a major carmaker’s American headquarters as the state looks ahead to luring Volvo’s first-ever U.S. assembly plant.

North Carolina lost out in January when luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz announced it’s moving its U.S. headquarters from New Jersey to suburban Atlanta.

Documents newly released by the state Commerce Department indicate a relatively small role for tax breaks and other incentives. A document prepared by Gov. Pat McCrory’s staff ahead of a meeting with Mercedes executives in October said North Carolina was offering Mercedes $15.3 million in tax breaks and customized worker training. State law requires the release of recruiting documents after a company has announced a decision on its preferred location, which Mercedes did almost three months ago. Since McCrory took office in 2013, state agencies often take many months to comply. Georgia offered $23.3 million in cost savings to coax 800 Mercedes jobs paying an average of $78,000 each, according to a December letter from Georgia’s economic development commissioner to a Mercedes consultant. Mercedes-Benz USA President and CEO Stephen Cannon said the executives wanted to be closer to the company’s growing customer base in the Southeast, a seaport in Brunswick, Georgia, and its manufacturing plant in Alabama. Mercedes also put a high priority on flights from Atlanta’s airport. North Carolina’s offer from its main discretionary fund for targeted corporate tax breaks was smaller than two earlier efforts to land corporate headquarters operations last year. The state offered about $28,000 per job for Bubble Wrap and food packaging manufacturer Sealed Air Corp. to move from New Jersey and for Toyota to move its North American headquarters from California. Mercedes was offered a job development investment grant, or JDIG, worth about $17,750 per job. Top North Carolina business recruiters were begging state lawmakers during the months Mercedes was shopping for a new headquarters site to authorize more funding for JDIG tax breaks as the incentive program approached its cap. Georgia already has in place a way of calculating corporate taxes that North Carolina lawmakers are considering broadening to attract Volvo or another car manufacturing plant. North Carolina now taxes the profits of most multistate corporations with a formula that takes into account property, payroll and sales the company has in the state. The change proposed by several lawmakers would tax only the company’s sales. Changing to a “single sales factor” approach would tax only the share of a corporation’s total profits generated from North Carolina sales. Volvo Cars said this week it has several sites in mind for a $500 million U.S. auto assembly plant that is part of a push to increase American sales. Sweden’s Volvo Group — the former parent of Volvo Cars — has its U.S. headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina. It manufactures trucks in Dublin, Virginia, and engines in Hagerstown, Maryland. Volvo’s car division was separated and sold to Ford Motor Co. in 1999. Volvo has been owned by Chinese automaker Geely Holding since 2010.

Comments

Local

City officials differ on how, what information should be released regarding viral K-9 officer video

High School

High school basketball: Carson girls are 3A champions

Lifestyle

High school, college sweethearts marry nearly 50 years later

Local

With jury trials set to resume, impact of COVID-19 on process looms

Legion baseball

Book explores life of Pfeiffer baseball coach Joe Ferebee

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education to receive update on competency-based education

Business

Biz Roundup: Kannapolis expects to see economic, housing growth continue in 2021

Business

A fixture of downtown Salisbury’s shopping scene, Caniche celebrates 15th anniversary this month

Local

Slate of new officers during local GOP convention; Rev. Jenkins becomes new chair

Landis

Landis officials narrow search for new manager to five candidates; expect decision within a month

Lifestyle

Together at last: High school, college sweethearts marry nearly 50 years later

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools sorts out transportation logistics in preparation for full-time return to classes

High School

Photo gallery: Carson goes undefeated, wins 3A state championship

Nation/World

Europe staggers as infectious variants power virus surge

Nation/World

Biden, Democrats prevail as Senate OKs $1.9 trillion virus relief bill

Nation/World

Senate Democrats strike deal on jobless aid, move relief bill closer to approval

News

Duke Life Flight pilot may have shut down wrong engine in fatal crash

News

Two NC counties get to participate in satellite internet pilot for students

Local

PETA protesters gather in front of police department

Coronavirus

UPDATED: Eight new COVID-19 deaths, 203 positives reported in county this week

Crime

Sheriff’s office: Two charged after suitcase of marijuana found in Jeep

Crime

Thomasville officer hospitalized after chase that started in Rowan County

Local

Board of elections discusses upgrading voting machines, making precinct changes

News

Lawmakers finalize how state will spend COVID-19 funds