There are two separate but overlapping levels of local government – county and city/town. While all properties are within the county jurisdiction, not all properties are within an incorporated city/town. Each level of local government may, separately, consider and provide incentives. The primary local incentive is a cash grant. The amount of a grant is negotiable but based, primarily, on the capital investment associated with the project. Terms and conditions for grant payments are also negotiable based on the particular needs of the client and project and are codified in written performance agreements between the Company and the local government unit(s). Other local incentives may include utility upgrades/extensions and/or rate incentives, expedited regulatory processes, and/or various fee/charge waivers for site/building development costs. These are also considered and offered based on the specific project requirements.
Recognizing the competitive environment and the compressed timeframes our clients have, cash grant offers can be proposed fairly quickly. However, all such offers are only tentative until approved at formal public hearings (this is in accordance with state law). State level incentives do not require public hearings.
All project details, including local incentives negotiations and offers, may remain confidential until the public hearing.
Local governments in Alamance County may provide incentives programs in support of quality job development and tax base expansion and in response to market conditions attendant with competitive site selections.
In North Carolina, there are, potentially, two separate but overlapping units of local government with taxing jurisdiction over real property -counties and cities/towns. When a project is locating within the boundary of a city/town, both units of local government receiving tax revenue from the project may, in turn, provide incentives to the same project. However, each local government unit may utilize different standards (type of activity, job quantity and quality, investment thresholds, etc.) for determining if a project qualifies for its incentives program(s) and the extent to which, if at all, incentives will be offered.
The primary type of local government incentive is a cash grant. Grant amounts and payment terms and conditions are negotiable but are based, primarily, on the net new capital investment of the project. Job quantity and quality are also important factors. Local governments may also consider other types of assistance such as expediting permitting and inspections processes, utility extensions/upgrades, and/or waiver of fees related to site/building development.
Cash grants are typically paid in annual installments after the project is in operation and as capital investment and job creation thresholds are met. Those thresholds and the related incentives amounts and payments are negotiated and codified into written performance agreements between the Company and the jurisdiction(s) involved.
Importantly, any incentives offers from local governments are tentative subject to approval at a formal public hearing (this is in accordance with state law). Before any tentative local incentive offer can be considered official, each local government unit involved must advertise and conduct a formal public hearing. The minimum timeframe for a local process to be completed is 2 – 3 weeks. If more than one local government unit is involved, depending on scheduling, more time may be needed. That said, if two local government units are involved and they agree to it, a joint meeting may be held to conduct simultaneous public hearings (rare for Alamance Co.). During the process, projects can initiate the real estate transaction process on a conditional basis but formal announcements must be subject to all incentives processes (including state incentives) being completed. There are no fees associated with the local incentives processes in any Alamance County jurisdictions.
As part of the public hearing advertisement process, some project details need to be disclosed while other details may remain confidential until the public hearing itself.