SANFORD, N.C. — Companies expanding in Lee County could be eligible for additional tax credits this year with Lee being designated once again as a "Tier 2" county by the North Carolina Department of Commerce.
Commerce officials annually rank the state's 100 counties based on their economic well-being. The state's 40 most-distressed counties are designated as "Tier 1," with the next 40 listed as listed as "Tier 2" and the 20 least-distressed as "Tier 3."
Tier status is taken into account when tax credits are calculated for expanding companies under state-sponsored incentive programs — including Article 3J Tax Credits designed to encourage economic activity in less-prosperous areas of the state.
In Lee County, companies meeting requirements for the state's Article 3J Tax Credits may receive a tax credit of $5,000 per job created (minimum of 10 new jobs) — as opposed to $750 per job (minimum of 15 jobs) in the state's least-distressed counties.
Tax credits for investing in business property under the same program are 5 percent with a minimum $1 million investment for Tier 2 counties — or 3.5 percent with a minimum $2 million investment in Tier 3 counties.
Only five counties received a new tier status this year. Three were moved to a less-distressed tier and two to a more-distressed designation.
Details about state tax credits, eligibility requirements and tier designations are available from the North Carolina Department of Commerce.
The Lee County Economic Development Corp. is a nonprofit organization established to attract industry, enhance job opportunities and promote sound planning across Lee County. Funding is provided by the county, as well as the City of Sanford and Town of Broadway, the county's two municipalities.
Bob Heuts, Director
Jane Wesley, Administrative Assistant