A special tax break deal for large manufacturing companies that critics asserted was a giveaway to submarine manufacturer Electric Boat was withdrawn during last night’s Rhode Island House debate over the $8.2 billion state budget proposal for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
The provision, called the Capital Expansion Manufacturing Job program would have granted tax breaks for companies that invested in Rhode Island manufacturing facilities and hired new workers. But the measure would only have applied to a company that invested at least $10 million in new machinery or facilities and hired at least 100 workers.
Even proponents in the business community of incentives for manufacturing complained that the measure was skewed to Electric Boat, the Quonset division of defense giant General Dynamics that builds some of the world’s most sophisticated subs. Most small and medium-sized RI manufacturing companies do not invest at that threshold or hire 100 new employees.
The measure was withdrawn without explanation by its sponsor, House Finance Committee Chairman Helio Melo, an East Providence Democrat.