- Associated Press - Thursday, March 17, 2016

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Gov. Jack Markell has signed a bill offering millions of dollars in tax incentives to DuPont after its planned merger with Dow Chemical.

The Democratic governor signed the bill Thursday evening just minutes after lawmakers suspended House rules and passed the measure, just one day after it was released from committee.

The measure cleared the Senate last week with no debate.

The bill eliminates a $5 million aggregate cap on research and development tax credits and makes the credits refundable. It also restores a never-used new jobs tax credit and expands it to include jobs retained after a corporate restructuring.

Dow and DuPont already have said that the headquarters of stand-alone agricultural and specialty products businesses will be located in Delaware.

The bill is expected to cost taxpayers $3.5 million in fiscal 2018 and $10.6 million in fiscal 2019.

Opponents argue that the measure amounts to corporate welfare on the backs of taxpayers, with little accountability or any guarantee that it will benefit the state.

“We must always seek out ways to foster more innovation and the creation of well-paying jobs for our workforce,” Markell said in a prepared statement. “Passage of this legislation continues the tremendous cooperation that helped convince the leaders of Dow and DuPont to locate new headquarters in Delaware, while it also paves the way for more companies to innovate, increase research and development, and create jobs in our state.”

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