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6/13/2016 Sen. Sheehan gratified to see GE jobs as fruits of Qualified Jobs Incentive Act
STATE HOUSE — In the wake of General Electric’s announcement that it will bring 100 high-paying tech jobs to Rhode Island, with the plans of hundreds more in the coming years, Sen. James C. Sheehan (D-Dist. 36, Narragansett, North Kingstown) says he is gratified to see that the Jobs Incentive Act sponsored by him last session has begun to pay off for Rhode Island.

Last year, Senator Sheehan and Rep. K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23, Warwick) introduced the Rhode Island New Qualified Jobs Incentive Act to make tax incentives available to companies that hire new “qualified” full-time employees who work a minimum of 30 hours per week, with a salary that is at least 250 percent of the state’s hourly minimum wage. The legislation ended up being rolled into the state budget.

“The creation of so many high-paying jobs by GE is the best news I’ve heard in a long time,” said Senator Sheehan. “New, good-paying jobs mean employees paying income tax and buying homes, contributing to charities and spending money at Rhode Island establishments. And the money companies save as a result of the incentive is money these firms can reinvest, so they can continue to grow and continue to hire.”

As states continue to compete with each other to attract businesses, Rhode Island came up with an incentive package that will encourage businesses to make a long-term investment in the state, rather than one that would encourage companies to bolt one the incentives run out.

“The reason the Qualified Jobs Incentive Plan was such a perfect fit for Rhode Island is because of the requirement for qualified jobs, to help ensure that businesses able to take advantage of the tax incentives are creating good-paying, sustainable jobs rather than minimum-wage positions,” said Senator Sheehan. “What makes this different from other incentives is that it encourages the types of businesses who come here because of our educational facilities, workforce and quality of life — all those things that encourage them to stay. And the fact that GE is creating 100 jobs and plans to create hundreds more in the future is proof that it does work.”

With the jobs incentive plan, large companies are eligible for a .25 percent tax incentive off their net income tax rate for every 50 new hires while smaller companies, which are typically partnerships or family businesses, receive a .25 percent incentive off their personal income tax for every 10 new hires, provided that the rate reduction is no larger than 6 percentage points for the applicable business income tax rate and no larger than 3 percentage points for the applicable personal income tax rate.

The Providence-based unit of GE, which intends to apply for incentives under this act, will employ a range of professionals, including experienced engineers, data scientists and young professionals with a background in data, design and information technology.

For more information, contact:
Daniel Trafford, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903