by Julie Tisdale
City & County Policy Analyst
This week, Catawba County and the town of Claremont announced that they will offer $955, 722 in tax breaks to Bed, Bath, & Beyond in order to entice the company to build a data center in the area. Catawba county wants to attract jobs, and they see this as a way to do so.
On the face of it, that might sound like a good thing. Who doesn’t want more jobs? But if you’ve ever read anything I’ve written about this kind of thing before, you can probably guess where I’m going. Yes, it should create jobs – a whopping 7 jobs by 2018. Yes, you read that right. 7 jobs in the next six years.
That $955,722 works out to more than $136,000 per job, and I have a hard time believing that’s money well spent. Surely the town and county would be better off using that nearly $1 million to give all businesses and taxpayers an across the board tax break. That would put $1 million more into the local economy for small businesses to use in hiring or for families to spend in local shops. And that’s the kind of investment that is both effective and sustainable.