Governor Gina M. Raimondo and Rhode Island House Speaker Nicholas A. Mattiello weighed in to provide their support for legislation that will enhance the incentives the state offers for job creation by new and existing companies.
The proposed legislation (H 5116), is titled the “Rhode Island Qualified Jobs Incentive Act of 2015,” and was introduced by State Representative K. Joseph Shekarchi.
As proposed, the bill provides Rhode Island economic development tax credits ranging from $2,500 to $7,500 per qualified new job created by eligible businesses in Rhode Island. It is designed to encourage creation of high-quality jobs in priority areas and industries.
The Rhode Island Qualified Jobs Incentive Act will help the state compete for economic development projects by larger and well-established companies, while at the same time assisting smaller businesses with the additional cash flow they need to be more stable and grow faster.
Subject to a maximum limit of state income taxes generated by the new job position, additional tax credit incentives may be provided for projects located in transit hubs or in communities that are most in need.
The tax credits offered under this program will be post-performance incentives subject to rigorous accountability provisions. The RI Commerce Corporation will start releasing credits only after the jobs are filled and taxes are paid in for the positions created.
The RI Dept. of Taxation will audit the tax credits annually, and will terminate the credits and impose a fine if a firm fails to maintain the jobs for which the credits were provided.
Representative Shekarchi, who has been trying to get this bill passed for the last three legislative sessions, said in a release that in order to reignite Rhode Island’s economic engine, they need to be bold and creative about how to bring business to the state and help them grow.
“To be successful, we need more tools in our toolbox for businesses to invest here, and to be competitive with our neighbors,” added Rep. Shekarchi.
Gov. Raimondo said in the release that this legislative initiative is an important component of a comprehensive plan to put shovels in the ground, make it easier to do business in Rhode Island, and help train people for the jobs of the 21st century.
Speaker Mattiello likewise noted that this legislation will provide a much-needed economic boost to Rhode Island and complements other proposals to improve the state’s business climate and economy.