She said she also wants to find out which of the state’s multiple incentive programs are effective and which ones aren’t.
Delegate Robert G. Marshall, Prince William Republican, said he has similar concerns.
“I just have not been for this,” he said. “If you’re a free-market person, it’s like being a little bit pregnant with government money. I don’t see the use of it. It directly gives money to corporations.”
He added that the “small, little pizza store would probably not be on the governor’s economic development,” but a big corporation would.
“What is the rationale for subsidizing them? How do you pick one company over another? I don’t know how you can do it at least without the appearance of some kind of favoritism,” he said.
Enticing businesses with incentive packages is becoming increasingly common, with states competing against each other for Fortune 500 companies to locate within their borders. When contracting giant Northrop Grumman was selecting a state for its headquarters last year, Virginia, Maryland and the District launched an all-out bidding war. Virginia won the battle, in part by offering the company a $13 million package.
Because Virginia’s business climate is consistently ranked in the top two or three in the country, the state doesn’t have quite as much pressure to offer incentives as other states, Mr. McClintock said.
“Our geography, our world-class research universities, our K-through-12 system, our transportation system, our regulatory system - all of those come into play,” he said.