Business incentives again proving popular
The state's continuing effort to prime the economic pump seems to be working, according to figures released Monday by Gov. Dave Heineman.
Businesses taking advantage of Nebraska's revamped LB775 incentives could invest more than $4 billion over the next few years and create about 10,400 jobs.
And while 55 of the 116 projects involved are planned for the Omaha metro area and 18 around Lincoln, 43 will be in other areas of the state.
While the financial services sector plans to create the most jobs, more than 3,600, manufacturing and processing plan 51 projects, investing $364 million and creating 2,500 jobs.
That includes $2.4 billion of investment in ethanol plants, which already have had a huge impact in Southwest Nebraska and promise to continue their growth.
It's obvious the program is popular -- it was expected to provide $200 million a year to qualifying companies, but applications from last year alone could exceed $500 million.
There's no doubt we need an aggressive business incentive program to make the state competitive with our neighbors.
On the other hand, it's good the revamped incentive package includes details such as how much companies receive, and incentives to pay higher wages. That's only reasonable considering the rest of us are expected to make up for the taxes participating businesses don't pay.
There's no doubt LB775 has been good for the state -- McCook wouldn't have the state-of-the-art Valmont plant without it.
But one has to wonder what kind of economic impact a $500 million tax cut for the rest of us might have.