The North Carolina Budget & Tax Center wants changes in the state’s economic development policies, including that the state invest in companies that offer a decent wage.

Policy analyst Allan Freyer says the state’s persistently high unemployment rate and the failed attempt to lure a Continental Tire plant provide an opportunity to reconsider North Carolina’s approach to economic incentives.

“As policymakers consider reforming the state’s economic development incentive programs, North Carolina should take the high road in its economic recovery by creating more jobs, pursuing better‐paying jobs, and holding companies accountable for the job‐creation promises they make,” Freyer wrote.

“This will ensure that North Carolina’s workers have access to the kinds of jobs that can support working families and sustain prosperity
for all.”

The report recommends that incentives be offered to recruit new firms and retain ones in stable, growing industries that offer a decent wage. The report also recommends that the state improve monitoring and transparency of incentive contracts and firm performance.

The five specific recommendations are:

1. Target incentive programs to attract and retain high‐growth industries

2. Target incentives toward industries with higher‐wage occupations and increase wage standards for all deals

3. Enforce existing performance criteria for incentive deals funded with JDIG and OneNC

4. Extend existing performance criteria to all other incentive deals, including those offered by local communities and those approved by the legislature

5. Improve monitoring and transparency of incentive contracts and firm performance

Read the full report here.

The Budget & Tax Center is part of the North Carolina Justice Center.

Get the latest news alerts: Follow WRAL Tech Wire at Twitter.