Columbia, SC — The State ’s Nov. 3 front-page article, “Big businesses bring big jobs, political donations,” provided misleading information on the impact of political donations by big businesses. The article implied that companies were receiving financial incentives because they were providing political contributions.
The state provides financial incentives for three reasons: (1) to cover the cost of infrastructure, such as roads and sewer/water systems, (2) to train workers and (3) to offset a portion of the state’s manufacturing property tax, which has the nation’s highest assessment ratio. The framework for incentive packages is clearly laid out under state law.
South Carolina is typically competing with states that provide similar incentive packages. The companies mentioned in the article are making billion-dollar decisions based primarily on the availability of labor and the cost of doing business.
The writer did not cite any examples to demonstrate a linkage between political donations and economic-development incentives. The article was a misplaced indictment on the state and local economic-development professionals in this state, who have consistently demonstrated that they are among the best in the world at accomplishing their mission.