Alabama Named as BF 2015 State of the Year

Business Facilities magazine has named Alabama as its “State of the Year” for 2015. This is the first time that Alabama has claimed the site selection publication’s highest award.

Alabama State of the Year

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The magazine looked at the top five economic development projects in terms of job creation and capital investment between Oct. 1, 2014 and Nov. 1, 2015, while also considering other factors.

Alabama topped the charts this year, thanks to their high-profile recruitment of projects such as Google’s $600 million data center in Jackson County and the $127 million Polaris ATV factory that is set to create as many as 2,000 jobs in Huntsville.

In addition to Polaris and Google, other Alabama projects highlighted by Business Facilities included:

–  Mercedes’ plans to invest $1.3 billion to expand its Tuscaloosa County assembly plant and prepare it for the production of next-generation SUVs. The project will add 300 jobs, many of them highly paid engineering positions;

– Auto supplier Kamtek’s $530 million project to expand its Birmingham facility and add a new aluminum casting line, creating 350 jobs; and

– Yorozu’s plans to open a plant in Jasper, AL to produce auto suspension parts, generating 300 new jobs.

The top five Alabama economic development projects in 2015 accounted for a combined total of $2.7 billion in capital investments.

Business Facilities also highlighted Alabama’s strong record of attracting FDI from companies such as Airbus, and the state’s growing export activity, which has seen overseas shipments of Alabama-made goods more than double in the past decade.

Business Facilities Editor in Chief Jack Rogers said in the magazine’s announcement ( that “With Mercedes-Benz and Airbus anchoring top-tier positions in automotive and aerospace manufacturing, an expanding high-tech hub and forward-thinking leadership in 21st-century workforce training, Alabama has put together a winning combination that’s tough to beat.”

Governor Robert Bentley said in a release that the Business Facilities honor caps a strong year for Alabama’s economic development efforts. “Our chief focus remains on creating jobs and new opportunities for residents across the state. I believe we are well-positioned to do that thanks to the state’s skilled workforce, great job-training programs, and a business environment that promotes growth,” added Gov. Bentley.

Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, noted that the new “Made in Alabama” incentives platform and a streamlined approach to workforce development, now centered in Commerce, will enhance the state’s competitiveness in 2016 and beyond.

Alabama’s designation as the Business Facilities “State of the Year” will now be featured in a cover story in the magazine’s January/February issue.

2015 Year in Review For U.S. Economic Development

As the clocks ticks down on 2015, it’s worth taking a look back at what has been a banner year for economic development initiatives and projects across the map.


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For starters, the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, announced that it has invested $55 million in 2015 in 42 Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance program projects across the nation to help communities develop a skilled and adaptable workforce.

These investments are expected to spur $593 million in private investment and create more than 9,800 jobs, exceeding targets set in the strategic plan.

In addition, the EDA also led the Communities that Work Partnership, a nationwide effort to recruit and select communities to participate a new learning exchange that builds regional partnerships. As a result, seven communities – New York City, Washington D.C., Greater Houston, the San Francisco Bay Area, Buffalo, Northeast Georgia, and Greater Phoenix – have embarked on a 15-month intensive learning exchange designed around each region’s pursuit of job-driven talent development strategies to promote economic growth.

EDA’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE) is leading the 2015 Regional Innovation Strategies Program, which is designed to spur innovation capacity-building activities in regions across the nation.

The National Association of Counties and NADO Research Foundation, with the support of EDA, launched the Innovation Challenge for Coal-Reliant Communities program, a competition to support coal-reliant communities working to diversify their economies.

EDA is also leading the administration’s Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative, a new interagency effort to assist communities negatively impacted by changes in the coal industry and power sector. The Administration has already announced 36 POWER grant awards worth $14,546,457, including nearly $10 million for 26 projects through EDA.

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker also announced 12 new communities that have received designations under the administration’s Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) initiative.

EDA is also looking inwards. In April 2015, the agency issued a Federal Register Notice announcing some proposed improvements to forms as part of overall enhancements being made to the grant application process. In late October, those changes went into effect with the publication of the FY2016 Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Programs Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO).

It was just as much of a banner year of job creation and record-breaking investment projects for states and cities. Here’s a video of Alabama’s Blockbuster 2015, which ranged from Airbus launching aircraft assembly in Mobile to Google selecting Jackson County for a major data center project. Not to mention large-scale projects announced by companies such as Mercedes-Benz, GE Aviation and Polaris Industries.

Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, said in a release that “This has been a landmark year for Alabama’s economic development team, which worked together to secure major projects that will make a profound impact on the future of our state. These projects set the stage for growth in key economic sectors and will create high-paying jobs with staying power.”

Indiana likewise had a record year, with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation securing Hoosier job commitments with 323 companies (as of Dec 17) from around the state, nation and world. These companies have committed to creating 26,555 new jobs over the next few years and investing more than $4.79 billion in their Indiana operations.

Governor Mike Pence said in a release that “This year, Indiana set an historic employment record with more Hoosiers working now than at any time in our state’s 200-year history.”

Earlier this month, the New York City Economic Development Corporation likewise announced that the total number of jobs in New York City has hit 4.24 million, the highest number in city history.

NYCEDC President Maria Torres-Springer said in a release that “New York City’s economy continues to set records, with the highest total job count in the history of the five boroughs. And unemployment remains at its lowest point since 2007 – down 3.3 percentage points since Mayor de Blasio took office. We’ll keep working to bring even more good jobs to New Yorkers in every neighborhood.”

Orlando, Florida Incentives Secure SMRxT Headquarters Relocation

SMRxT, Inc., which has developed smart container technology effective in addressing issues concerning prescription medication and healthcare, is relocating its corporate headquarters to Orlando, FL.


Florida (photo – Julie, Dave & Family/flickr)

Supported by State of Florida and Orlando economic development incentives, the company will make a $582,000 capital investment in the local community.

As part of the relocation of its research and development operations and corporate headquarters from New York to Orlando, SMRxT is creating 55 jobs in Orange County. These are jobs with an average annual wage of $63,906, which is at least 150 percent of the Orange County average annual wage.

The company, founded by Victor Chu and Stephan Valter in 2010, provides a scalable solution that precisely records, monitors and quantifies the time and dose of patient medication behavior using a sensor and software technology.

Mike Huffer, R.Ph. M.S., President and CEO of SMRxT, said in a release that “We are extremely pleased with our decision to move SMRxT Inc. to Orlando.

Huffer noted that they have also relocated their medication bottle manufacturing from Virginia and have been able to reduce manufacturing costs by 40 percent. “The Central Florida community has welcomed us with open arms and is the exact healthcare and technology hub we were looking for,” added Huffer.

Governor Rick Scott said in the release that “I am proud to announce today that SMRxT has chosen to relocate from New York to Florida and create 55 new jobs for Orlando families.”

Enterprise Florida worked with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the Orlando Economic Development Commission, City of Orlando, and IQOrlando to secure this project.

Back in February, the Orlando City Council had approved a resolution in support of a Qualified Target Industry (QTI) program incentive for SMRxT to create 55 new-to-Florida jobs by December 31, 2017. However, the company then requested a delay and exercised a one-year push available under their original agreement.

As per the amended agreement approved by the City Council in September, the State of Florida will provide a total of $313,500 to SMRxT under the QTI program. This includes a $62,700 ($1,140 per job created) local match from the City of Orlando.

Rick Weddle, president and CEO of the Orlando Economic Development Commission, said in the release that “SMRxT’s inventive new technology expands on the recent growth of medical innovation in the region. We are very excited to see the forward progression of this company and the positive impact it will have on the community.”

Rick Wassel, managing director of the IQ Orlando Partnership launched earlier this year to grow Central Florida’s life science cluster to improve community health, noted that their vision is to grow Central Florida’s life science and healthcare cluster through a new corporate partnership that’s focused on launching, recruiting and funding companies that ultimately improve the health of the population, increase access and lower the cost of health care.

“SMRxT, with its smart sensor and software technology, is pioneering medical products to reduce healthcare costs and improve individual health outcomes,” added Wassel.

Chester County, SC Approves Economic Development Incentives for Largest Investment Project in State History

At a specially called meeting yesterday, the County Council of Chester County, SC held a final reading and voted to approve tax incentives for Project 1429, which would be the largest single investment project in the state.

Chester County Courthouse , SC

Chester County Courthouse , SC (photo –

The company, identified in county agenda documents only as Project 1429, is planning to invest $1.6 billion to establish a renewable diesel facility and related facilities in Chester County.

Project 1429 expects to create up to 1,400 new full-time equivalent jobs at this facility. The plant will produce cellulosic diesel fuel using renewable sources such as wood and other sources of plant cellulose.

If it goes ahead, this $1.6 billion investment will be the largest investment for a single South Carolina economic development project, eclipsing the $1.2 billion investment in the Bridgestone Americas project.

Project 1429 is also nearly thrice the size of the recently announced Giti tire project in Chester County, which is bringing $560 million and 1,700 jobs to South Carolina. Factoring in these two projects, and others such as the $100 million Carolina Poly project that is creating 300 jobs, Chester County economic development will have secured over $2.5 billion in investment projects in the past year.

Chester County has been in consideration for two large ethanol projects since as far back as 2007. At that time, it was reported that the County was in the running for a corn-based ethanol project and another ethanol project that would use wood chips and logging waste as source material.

In 2008, East Coast Ethanol, LLC announced plans to build a $230 million corn-based ethanol facility in Chester County. At that time, the company said it chose the site because of the easy access it provides to transportation routes, ports and fuel terminals.

At its specially called meeting, the Chester County Council has now approved an ordinance authorizing the execution and delivery of a fee in lieu of tax (FILOT) agreement with Project 1429. The County Council also approved the inclusion of certain property in the county into the York-Chester Industrial Park in order to facilitate the project. Furthermore, the ordinance also allows for the provision of credits against the FILOT payments.

The project announcement, subject to approval of South Carolina economic development incentives and fulfillment of other requirements, is likely to be made in late February jointly by state leaders and company officials.

Carbon Challenge Attracts 16 NYC Hotels to Reduce GHG Emissions By 30%

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that 16 major hotels are joining the NYC Carbon Challenge, committing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from their buildings by 30 percent or more in the next ten years.

Waldorf Astoria NYC

Waldorf Astoria NYC (photo – Hennem08/wikimedia)

The hotels in question are – 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, 1 Hotel Central Park, Crowne Plaza Times Square, Dream Downtown, Grand Hyatt New York, Hotel Pennsylvania, Hudson Hotel, Loews Regency Hotel, Lotte New York Palace, The Pierre – A Taj Hotel, The Peninsula New York, InterContinental New York Barclay, InterContinental New York Times Square, Roger Smith Hotel, the Westin New York at Times Square, and Waldorf Astoria New York.

The NYC Carbon Challenge program was launched in 2007 with universities, and grew to include hospitals and commercial offices. Last year, Mayor de Blasio expanded the program to multifamily buildings.

Apart from this latest addition of 16 hotels, current participants in the Carbon Challenge include more than 17 universities, 11 hospital organizations, 11 commercial firms, and 18 residential property management companies representing 720 multifamily buildings. In total, the Challenge is expected to reduce emissions by 515,000 metric tons – the equivalent of taking more than 100,000 cars off the roads, and will result in an estimated $220 million in energy cost savings.

It’s also going to be a significant factor in terms of NYC economic development. By the end of the program in 2025, participants will have spent roughly $160 million in annual construction activity, creating more than 650 construction-related jobs in the process.

Together, these 16 NYC hotels represent almost 10 million square feet, accounting for more than 11,000 rooms. The addition of these 16 hotels to the Carbon Challenge is projected to reduce citywide GHG emissions by an additional 32,000 metric tons and result in an estimated $25 million in energy cost savings.

Mayor de Blasio said in a release that if some of New York’s most iconic hotels can significantly reduce their carbon footprint, anyone can. “NYC Carbon Challenge participants are joining City government in leading by example through the green retrofits all buildings should make – and that’s no small feat, with current Challenge commitments equivalent to removing over 100,000 cars from our roads,” added Mayor de Blasio.

Nilda Mesa, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, added that “In joining the NYC Carbon Challenge, New York City’s iconic hotels are now also worldwide leaders in the fight against climate change, and are once again redefining excellence in the hospitality sector to include responsibility for climate action.”

Joseph E. Spinnato, President, Hotel Association of New York City, noted that “We are excited to see that these participating hotels will continue to make a positive impact on the environment and the communities around them.”

ESD Board approves $101.1M NY Economic Development Incentives For 23 Projects

At its latest meeting, the Board of Empire State Development Corp. approved $101.1 million in New York economic development incentives for 23 projects statewide.

New York

New York (photo – stevevoght/flickr)

These projects are creating an estimated 634 new jobs and will support the retention of another 1,531 existing jobs in the state.

The projects that received board approval included two key projects that have regional and statewide importance. One is the approval of $20.6 million in working capital grants for Alcoa, Inc. This funding is part of the agreement between the company and the State that saved the Alcoa Massena West smelter from downsizing that would have eliminated at least 487 jobs, and left only 217 positions in place.

As per the deal negotiated by Governor M. Andrew Cuomo and Sen. Charles E. Schumer, Alcoa was offered an amendment of its low-cost hydropower agreement with NYPA, along with capital and operating expense support from ESD totaling $38.8 million. In return, the company agreed to maintain a workforce of at least 600 full-time e equivalent employees throughout Massena West.

As part of this agreement, the ESD Board has now approved $20.6 million to ALCOA for working capital purposes. The North Country Regional Economic Development Council has been made aware of this project, which is consistent with the Council’s plan to support existing employers.

The second major project that received ESD Board approval is the 1366 Technologies state-of-the-art, commercial solar wafer manufacturing facility in Genesee County, NY. The ESD Board has approved $5 million for the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) for land acquisition and other infrastructure costs associated with the 1366 project.

1366 Technologies will become the anchor tenant at Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP), where the company will establish a 130,000-square-foot facility to produce more than 600 million high-performance silicon wafers per year and eventually create more than 1,000 new, full-time jobs for the Finger Lakes Region.

This project has been offered a competitive and attractive incentive package through various state and local resources including ESD, NYPA, NYSERDA, HCR and the Genesee County IDA. In September 2011, the company was also issued a $150 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy to build a commercial-scale manufacturing facility.

Other projects that received ESD Board approval include:

Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance, Inc. – $600,000;

C’ville Yoghurt, Inc.- $500,000;

St. Lawrence County IDA Newton Falls Railroad Phase 2 – $8,672,000;

Ithaca Commons – $1,800,000;

Delaware County IDA/Amphenol – $750,000;

FAGE USA Dairy Industry, Inc. – $780,000;

Griffiss Local Development Corporation – B240 Redevelopment – $590,710;

Griffiss Airport Terminal Building – $500,000;

Town of Verona – $500,000;

Westmoreland Ambulatory Surgery Center – $400,000;

Brattleboro, Vermont Economic Development Agencies Secure GS Precision Expansion

G.S. Precision, a leader in the manufacturing of high-precision machined components and sub-assemblies for the aircraft engine, aerospace, automotive and other industries, broke ground on an expansion in Brattleboro, VT.

GS Precision

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The $17 million expansion is the result of nearly eight months of hard work by Vermont and Brattleboro economic developers and elected officials to keep the company in state.

G.S. Precision, which already supports 300 high-quality manufacturing jobs in Brattleboro, will now create another 100 new jobs as part of this latest expansion.

In a release announcing the groundbreaking at the Exit One Industrial Park, Governor Peter Shumlin said this project has been a team effort to combine federal, state, and local resources to retain and create great jobs in Brattleboro. “This is the kind of public-private partnership that will help ensure Windham County’s economic future,” added Gov. Shumlin.

G.S. Precision worked on this project with the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation, the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA), Town of Brattleboro, and the VT Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD).

U.S. Senator for Vermont Patrick Leahy said in the release that “I am pleased that Vermont could count on federal programs to partner with G.S. Precision to make this possible. This creative package shows once again that successful economic development is truly a team sport.”

The company’s investment in the expansion is being financed through a number of local, state, federal and private entities and programs, including TD Bank, VEDA financing, CDBG, New Market Tax Credits, Windham County Economic Development Funding, and Vermont Employment Growth Incentives.

BDCC Executive Director Adam Grinold said that BDCC provided leadership in efforts to identify and assemble a number of appropriate federal, state and local supports to accommodate the decision by G.S. Precision to expand in Vermont, and noted that they are thrilled with the result.

G.S. Precision President and CEO Norm Schneeberger likewise responded that “The combined efforts of Senator Leahy, Governor Shumlin, Pat Moulton and her team at the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, Adam Grinold and the BDCC, the Town of Brattleboro and many other individuals have been instrumental in our decision to focus our expansion plans in Brattleboro.”

G.S. Precision’s corporate headquarters are in Brattleboro, but they also have manufacturing facilities in New Hampshire, Mexico and California. Growth opportunities, primarily in the aircraft engine and power generation turbine markets, had G.S. Precision considering the possibility of an expansion out of state.

Brattleboro Town Manager Peter Elwel noted that the Town’s Selectboard unanimously supported Brattleboro’s financial contributions to the project and said that “The Town of Brattleboro is grateful to GS Precision for making this commitment and to the State of Vermont and BDCC for their leadership in making it possible.”

Cook County Sustainability Report – Greenhouse Gas Emissions Down by 11%

A new Sustainability Report published by Cook County, IL shows that the County is exceeding its target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from its buildings.

Cook County Sustainability Report

Cook County Sustainability Report (photo –

To be specific, the County’s emissions have decreased by 11 percent since the previous measurement in 2010. Cumulatively, this reduction in emissions is equivalent to keeping 20,400 passenger vehicles off of the road for a year.

This 11 percent reduction surpasses the County target of an eight percent reduction from 2010 through 2014, and its goal of reducing energy emissions by 80 percent by 2050.

Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle said in a release that “I am proud that through the efforts of my Green Leadership Team we have harnessed departments and offices from across County government to work together and creatively reduce our energy, water and fuel use as well as reduce our waste.”

Preckwinkle also highlighted the impact of these efforts on Cook County economic development, transportation, brownfields, etc. “Programs to harness solar electricity clean up brownfields and recycle building materials, together with comprehensive plans for economic development and transportation, will help to support sustainable development in the County,” added Preckwinkle.

Highlights from the Cook County Sustainability Report:

More the 500,000 tons of building materials have been diverted from landfills, thanks to the Demolition Debris Diversion (3D) Ordinance. Additionally, 100,000 tons of material have been reused or salvaged. Cook County’s 3D ordinance is the first of its kind in the Midwest to incorporate reuse. Reuse is even more environmentally beneficial than recycling, because it saves more material, uses less energy and produces fewer pollutants in the process.

A study by The Delta Institute has shown that diverting five percent of demolition material for reuse from about 30 houses could produce revenue that supports at least one new reuse retail center and related jobs, and pay for 25-30 full-time deconstruction workers.

Since the 3D Ordinance has been in effect, the number of these retailers in Cook County has increased from one to three, employing an additional 14 full-time people. In addition, all three reuse retailers have job training programs and have trained a total of 82 people on building deconstruction or material reuse.

Approximately 43 percent of the County’s waste was diverted from landfills. This includes more than one million pounds of old documents that have been recycled in the last year-and-a-half, confronting a decades-old problem of records storage while generating savings and revenue for the County.

This freed up 71,000 cubic feet of space, and none of the 1.14 million pounds of paper was sent to a landfill. Instead, the paper was sold for recycling through a centralized contract with a County vendor, resulting in at least $200,000 in savings from what it would have spent with multiple vendors for the same services.

The County, supported by a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant, is assessing brownfields in seven west suburban communities to begin the process of cleaning and redeveloping sites previously used for commercial or industrial purposes.

Last month, Cook County was named as one of the recipients of the Governor’s Sustainability Awards, considered the “Emmy Awards for sustainability.” Under Preckwinkle, the County has adopted a data-driven approach to sustainability, with the aim of integrating green practices into the County’s day-to-day operations. Preckwinkle last year appointed a Green Leadership Team led by Chief of Staff Tasha Cruzat to oversee sustainability efforts.

“I am proud that we are ahead of target in reducing our own emissions from County buildings. The recognition given to Cook County by this award helps solidify our role as a leader for other local governments and the private sector,” said Preckwinkle in a release issued after the County was named as one of the recipients of the Governor’s Sustainability Awards.

Read the full Cook County Sustainability Report – Download (pdf)

American Samoa Economic Development Tax Credit Extension Will Help Attract Investments

The tax extenders and omnibus package recently approved by the United States Congress included the retroactive extension of the American Samoa Economic Development Tax Credit.

Pago Pago Harbor, American Samoa

Pago Pago Harbor, American Samoa (photo – Eric Guinther/wikipedia)

This credit provides an incentive for U.S. corporations to invest in the island, and is one of the driving forces for future development.

This tax credit, which had been targeted for expiration, has now been extended for another year.

The American Samoa Economic Development Tax Credit is offered to certain domestic corporations operating in American Samoa, and is intended to offset their U.S. tax liability on income earned from active business operations and other business activities.

For qualifying corporations, the amount of credit they can avail equals the sum of:

– 60 percent of qualified American Samoa wages and allocable employee fringe benefit expenses;

– 15 percent of the depreciation deduction for short-life qualified tangible property;

– 40 percent of the depreciation deduction for medium-life qualified tangible property; and

– 65 percent of the depreciation deduction for long-life qualified tangible property.

One of the companies that will benefit from the extension of this credit is StarKist Co., which has a cannery located in Pago Pago, American Samoa. This Pittsburgh, PA-based company is a part of the Dongwon Group. Dongwon Industries is one of the world’s largest tuna catching companies with a large fleet of boats. Dongwon Food & Beverage (F&B) now owns 75 percent of the canned tuna market share in Korea.

After passage of the tax extenders bill, StarKist issued a statement in which it says that the federal tax incentive will level the playing field for them against competitors in countries like China and Taiwan who reap the benefits of cheap labor and state subsidies.

The statement also notes that while they appreciate the short-term extension, a permanent extension of the tax credit is necessary to reduce uncertainty and remain competitive.

Congresswoman Aumua Amata, who represents American Samoa in the U.S. House of Representatives, was one of those instrumental in the discussions with the leadership in the House and Senate, which led to the inclusion of the American Samoa Economic Development Tax Credit in the tax extenders package.

Rep. Amata said in a release that “I would like to thank the leadership for their wisdom in extending this tax incentive that is so important to our island, and I appreciate them working with me to see it included in the package.”

The legislative package approved by the U.S. Congress also includes over $22.7 million to fund American Samoa Government operations through the end of the fiscal year, and an increase to many of the competitive grant programs that American Samoa is eligible for.

California Film and Television Tax Credit Program 2.0 Brings Disney Mistresses Back Home

A total of 11 projects have been selected to receive tax credits under the second TV-specific allocation of California’s expanded Film and Television Tax Credit Program 2.0.

CA Film and Television Tax Credit Program 2.0

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This particular application period drew 32 applications vying for a total tax credit allocation of of $42 million.

The California economic development impact of these projects includes an estimated $254 million in direct in-state spending, including $103 million in wages for below-the-line crew members.

Out of these 11 projects, the only one relocating to California from out of state was Disney’s television series “Mistresses,” which is returning from Vancouver to California for its fourth season.

Disney Senior VP of Production Gary French said in a release that “We can’t wait to bring the ‘Mistresses’ series back to California where we have access to the best crews, the best talent and the best of everything we need.”

French noted that their goal is to get superior production and financial value for their investment, adding that they can get both at home in California.

After three rounds of tax credit allocation announcements, the expanded Film and Television Tax Credit Program 2.0 has now attracted four TV series relocations. This includes Mistresses from Vancouver, Veep from Maryland, Secrets and Lies from North Carolina, and American Horror Story from Louisiana.

California Film Commission Executive Director Amy Lemisch said in the release that the expanded tax credit program is working exactly as intended. “It’s making California more competitive for high impact television projects that provide long term jobs for cast and crew members, while boosting spending at support vendors and service providers,” added Lemisch.

The expanded Film and Television Tax Credit Program 2.0 was established through legislation signed by Governor Brown in Sept 2014. It more than tripled the size of California’s film and television production incentive from an annual $100 million to $330 million.

Aimed at retaining and attracting production jobs and economic activity across the state, the legislation replaced the prior lottery system with a “jobs ratio” ranking system that selects projects based on wages paid to below-the-line workers, qualified spending and other criteria. All projects in California’s expanded film and TV tax credit program are now selected based on their jobs ratio score.

Of the 21 projects that applied in this latest application period but were not selected, those with jobs ratio scores ranked in the top 200 percent of applicants have been placed on a waiting list. The next application period for California’s expanded tax credit program is scheduled for January 11-24, and targets feature films and independent projects.

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