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Offshoring Company Cognizant On Pace To Get Big Tax Breaks From NC

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cognizant.com

We’re going to revisit an incentives deal from a year ago that raised some eyebrows in North Carolina. The state gave generous tax breaks to help convince a company to open a new office in Charlotte. That’s pretty standard. The head-scratching part is the nature of that company’s business: shipping U.S. jobs overseas.

The company is called Cognizant, and it’s in the business of helping companies replace American workers with cheaper foreign ones. The concept is nothing new. It’s the state tax breaks for it that got people’s attention.

North Carolina will give Cognizant more than $5 million worth of incentives if it adds 500 jobs in the state. But there’s nothing in the contract guaranteeing the jobs will go to North Carolina workers. In fact, it’s unclear if state officials even considered Cognizant’s offshoring work. 

The company declined our interview request but says it’s on pace to meet and even exceed the job target. It wouldn’t say whether it’s doing that with temporary foreign workers.

The state Commerce Department says Cognizant will file its first job report in the spring. A state spokeswoman says it’s too soon to answer other questions, including whether state officials have had additional discussions about tax breaks going to offshoring companies.