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Here are some of the other stories catching our attention.

McCrory Pitches Incentives At Charlotte Jobs Announcement

Ben Bradford

Governor Pat McCrory stopped in Charlotte Wednesday—ostensibly to announce a financial company will bring new, high-paying jobs to the city. But the governor also used the opportunity to stump for an expansion the tax breaks used to lure the business.

Texas-based Dimensional Fund Advisors has committed to opening an East Coast headquarters somewhere along the Blue Line in South End and populate it with more than 300 jobs, with an average salary of $147,000

Governor McCrory says to get the company, the state had to offer incentives—more than $10 million over the next dozen years.

“We’re helping them with a refund on their taxes in the future, once they make this promise complete,” the governor said.

The state uses its economic incentive fund to grant tax breaks in exchange for jobs and investment, but other deals have left the fund nearly dry for most of the year.

It received a scheduled $7.5 million infusion on July 1st, and Commerce Secretary John Skvarla says that’s already almost entirely committed. He wants to raise its $15 million annual budget—significantly.

“The state of North Carolina is a place that everyone wants to be and so my plea and suggestion is please consider seriously lifting that cap,” Skvarla said. “Give us an unlimited cap, because it’s not appropriate for us to pick between winners and losers.”

That’s a tough sell. The fund is set to totally expire at the end of the year, and lawmakers in the state Senate are especially skeptical of granting tax breaks to businesses. The Senate has proposed continuing funding at its current level for two more years, but restricting when more prosperous areas of the state can obtain it.

McCrory’s lobby for more funding comes as the Senate and House are working to reach a new agreement in the next budget.

The City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County also committed $8.5 million in local incentive funds to lure Dimensional to the city.