Pitt County Development Commission – History and Purpose
In May of 1957, the General Assembly of North Carolina passed an act to authorize the Board of County Commissioners of Pitt County to call a special election for the authorization of an industrial development tax and to create an industrial development commission for Pitt County. The special election was held on May 31, 1958 and the industrial development levy, in an amount not to exceed 3¢, was approved. The Commission Board was appointed by the Pitt County Board of Commissioners and the office of the Pitt County Industrial Development Commission was activated in February 1959. Pitt County is the only county in North Carolina that levies a dedicated industrial development tax even though 29 counties have the statutory authority to do so. The current Industrial Development Tax rate is .7 cents.
As a component unit of Pitt County government, the Pitt County Development Commission recruits new industry and supports existing industry in Pitt County. Its mission is to promote job growth, diversify the County’s economy, and expand the local tax base. The Commission maintains a website which includes extensive information on doing business in Pitt County including a free listing of available industrial and major office buildings and sites. To help fulfill its mission, the Commission works closely with many partners including the North Carolina Department of Commerce, local municipalities and Chambers of Commerce, East Carolina University, Pitt Community College, and Vidant Health.
Each year, a portion of the IDC budget is earmarked for incentives associated with industrial projects. Since 1987, over $10 million in economic development expenditures/incentives have been provided from ad valorem taxes through the IDC. This money has been used for water, sewer, and gas extensions and improvements; road, rail, and site improvements; direct grants to companies; and supplemental workforce training. The total reported jobs and investment by new & expanding industries (Manufacturing, Warehouse, Distribution, Call Centers, Back Office) from 1987-2015 is 12,631 jobs and over $2 Billion invested. Reported jobs & investment by the 45 projects receiving incentives from Pitt County from 1987-2015 is 4,560 jobs and $1.3 Billion invested.
In addition to its core mission of recruitment and expansion of industry, the Development Commission also operates a technology incubator, the Technology Enterprise Center. The County purchased the former Prepshirt manufacturing facility in 1995 and has expended nearly $4 million to date for purchasing the building and for renovations including $1.14 million directly from the IDC Fund. The building currently has about 35,000 net leasable square feet, over 73% of which is leased to 10 tenants with approximately 70 employees.