TITLE 42
State Affairs and Government

CHAPTER 42-64
Rhode Island Commerce Corporation

SECTION 42-64-10


   § 42-64-10  Findings of the corporation. – (a) Except as specifically provided in this chapter, the Rhode Island commerce corporation shall not be empowered to undertake the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, development, or improvement of a project, nor enter into a contract for any undertaking or for the financing of this undertaking, unless it first:

   (1) Finds:

   (i) That the acquisition or construction and operation of the project will prevent, eliminate, or reduce unemployment or underemployment in the state and will generally benefit economic development of the state;

   (ii) That adequate provision has been made or will be made for the payment of the cost of the acquisition, construction, operation, and maintenance and upkeep of the project;

   (iii) That, with respect to real property, the plans and specifications assure adequate light, air, sanitation, and fire protection;

   (iv) That the project is in conformity with the applicable provisions of chapter 23 of title 46; and

   (v) That the project is in conformity with the applicable provisions of the state guide plan; and

   (2) Prepares and publicly releases an analysis of the impact the proposed project will or may have on the State. The analysis shall be supported by appropriate data and documentation and shall consider, but not be limited to, the following factors:

   (i) The impact on the industry or industries in which the completed project will be involved;

   (ii) State fiscal matters, including the state budget (revenues and expenses);

   (iii) The financial exposure of the taxpayers of the state under the plans for the proposed project and negative foreseeable contingencies that may arise therefrom;

   (iv) The approximate number of full-time, part-time, temporary, seasonal, and/or permanent jobs projected to be created, construction and non-construction;

   (v) Identification of geographic sources of the staffing for identified jobs;

   (vi) The projected duration of the identified construction jobs;

   (vii) The approximate wage rates for each category of the identified jobs;

   (viii) The types of fringe benefits to be provided with the identified jobs, including healthcare insurance and any retirement benefits;

   (ix) The projected fiscal impact on increased personal income taxes to the state of Rhode Island; and

   (x) The description of any plan or process intended to stimulate hiring from the host community, training of employees or potential employees and outreach to minority job applicants and minority businesses.

   (b) With respect to the uses described in § 42-64-3(18), (23), (30), (35), and (36) and with respect to projects situated on federal lands, the corporation shall not be required to make the findings specified in subsection (a)(1)(i) of this section.

   (c) Except for the findings specified in subsections (a)(1)(iv) and (a)(1)(v) of this section, the findings of the corporation made pursuant to this section shall be binding and conclusive for all purposes. Upon adoption by the corporation, any such findings shall be transmitted to the division of taxation, and shall be made available to the public for inspection by any person, and shall be published by the tax administrator on the tax division website.

   (d) The corporation shall monitor every impact analysis it completes through the duration of any project incentives. Such monitoring shall include annual reports which shall be transmitted to the division of taxation, and shall be available to the public for inspection by any person, and shall be published by the tax administrator on the tax division website. The annual reports on the impact analysis shall include:

   (1) Actual versus projected impact for all considered factors; and

   (2) Verification of all commitments made in consideration of state incentives or aid.

   (e) Upon its preparation and release of the analysis required by subsection (a)(2) of this section, the corporation shall provide copies of that analysis to the chairpersons of the house and senate finance committees, the house and senate fiscal advisors, the department of labor and training and the division of taxation. Any such analysis shall be available to the public for inspection by any person and shall be published by the tax administrator on the tax division website. Annually thereafter, the department of labor and training shall certify to the chairpersons of the house and senate finance committees, the house and senate fiscal advisors, the corporation and the division of taxation that: (i) the actual number of new full-time jobs with benefits created by the project, not including construction jobs, is on target to meet or exceed the estimated number of new jobs identified in the analysis above, and (ii) the actual number of existing full-time jobs with benefits has not declined. This certification shall no longer be required two (2) tax years after the terms and conditions of both the general assembly's joint resolution of approval required by § 42-64-20.1 of this chapter and any agreement between the corporation and the project lessee have been satisfied. For purposes of this section, "full-time jobs with benefits" means jobs that require working a minimum of thirty (30) hours per week within the state, with a median wage that exceeds by five percent (5%) the median annual wage for full-time jobs in Rhode Island and within the taxpayer's industry, with a benefit package that includes healthcare insurance plus other benefits typical of companies within the project lessee's industry. The department of labor and training shall also certify annually to the chairpersons of the house and senate finance committees, the house and senate fiscal advisors, and the division of taxation that jobs created by the project are "new jobs" in the state of Rhode Island, meaning that the employees of the project are in addition to, and without a reduction in the number of, those employees of the project lessee currently employed in Rhode Island, are not relocated from another facility of the project lessee in Rhode Island or are employees assumed by the project lessee as the result of a merger or acquisition of a company already located in Rhode Island. The certifications made by the department of labor and training shall be available to the public for inspection by any person and shall be published by the tax administrator on the tax division website.

   (f) The corporation, with the assistance of the taxpayer, the department of labor and training, the department of human services and the division of taxation shall provide annually an analysis of whether any of the employees of the project lessee has received RIte Care or RIte Share benefits and the impact such benefits or assistance may have on the state budget. Any such analysis shall be available to the public for inspection by any person and shall be published by the tax administrator on the tax division website. Notwithstanding any other provision of law or rule or regulation, the division of taxation, the department of labor and training and the department of human services are authorized to present, review and discuss lessee-specific tax or employment information or data with the Rhode Island commerce corporation (RICC), the chairpersons of the house and senate finance committees, and/or the house and senate fiscal advisors for the purpose of verification and compliance with this tax credit reporting requirement.

   (g) The corporation and the project lessee shall agree that, if at any time prior to pay back of the amount of the sales tax exemption through new income tax collections over three (3) years, not including construction job income taxes, the project lessee will be unable to continue the project, or otherwise defaults on its obligations to the corporation, the project lessee shall be liable to the state for all the sales tax benefits granted to the project plus interest, as determined in Rhode Island General Law § 44-1-7, calculated from the date the project lessee received the sales tax benefits.

   (h) Any agreements or contracts entered into by the corporation and the project lessee shall be sent to the division of taxation and be available to the public for inspection by any person and shall be published by the tax administrator on the tax division website.

   (i) By August 15th of each year the project lessee shall report the source and amount of any bonds, grants, loans, loan guarantees, matching funds or tax credits received from any state governmental entity, state agency or public agency as defined in § 37-2-7 received during the previous state fiscal year. This annual report shall be sent to the division of taxation and be available to the public for inspection by any person and shall be published by the tax administrator on the tax division website.

   (j) By August 15th of each year the division of taxation shall report the name, address, and amount of sales tax benefit each project lessee received during the previous state fiscal year to the corporation, the chairpersons of the house and senate finance committees, the house and senate fiscal advisors, the department of labor and training and the division of taxation. This report shall be available to the public for inspection by any person and shall be published by the tax administrator on the tax division website.

   (k) On or before September 1, 2011, and every September 1 thereafter, the project lessee shall file an annual report with the tax administrator. Said report shall contain each full-time equivalent, part-time or seasonal employee's name, social security number, date of hire, and hourly wage as of the immediately preceding July 1 and such other information deemed necessary by the tax administrator. The report shall be filed on a form and in a manner prescribed by the tax administrator.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1974, ch. 100, § 14; P.L. 1995, ch. 343, § 1; P.L. 2004, ch. 275, § 2; P.L. 2004, ch. 390, § 2; P.L. 2008, ch. 165, § 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 173, § 1; P.L. 2011, ch. 151, art. 19, § 5; P.L. 2013, ch. 243, § 3; P.L. 2013, ch. 490, § 3.)