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State board votes on possible Carrier deal endorsement

Donald Trump speaks at Carrier after announcing agreement has been reached to keep jobs in the state.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.—Carrier Corp. is back in the news this week as the Indiana Economic Development Board votes on a possible endorsement for the tax incentive deal keeping the plant open.

The deal, brokered in part by President Donald Trump last winter, aimed at curbing job loss at Carrier’s Indianapolis plant. In exchange for staying open, Carrier Corp. will receive $7 million of incentives each year over the next ten years.

About two-thirds of the 1,600 jobs will remain, but more than 500 positions will still be eliminated.

Carrier announced plans to shutter the facility in 2016 and relocate to Mexico in order to save millions annually.

A state economic development board vote Tuesday on endorsing the package, signaling approval or disapproval of the deal.

The Associated Press reports that it is not uncommon for states across the country to offer tax breaks and other grants for companies to retain jobs. But it is uncommon in Indiana. Over the last 12 years, Indiana has typically demanded that companies promise to create new jobs in exchange for tax incentives.

According to a study by the Indiana Economic Development Corp., only 11 state incentive deals since 2005 have involved a fund for job retention. That equates to less than one-percent of the 2,570 agreements during that time according to the report.

Indiana Secretary of Commerce, Jim Schellinger, told the Associated Press he believes President Trump had a heavy hand in the negotiation. United Technologies, Carrier Corp. parent company, also owns Pratt & Whitney which holds billions in federal contracts with the U.S. military.

Schellinger acknowledged that the $7 million in state incentives wasn’t the only thing keeping the plant open in Indianapolis.

“Then Donald Trump picks up the phone on Nov. 15 and makes a phone call and reminds the CEO of United Technologies that 10 percent of their revenues come from the federal government, which could all change on Jan. 21,” Schellinger told The Associated Press.

The economic development board vote Tuesday.