Governor Bill Haslam says the state could save money by giving cash to companies it wants to recruit. A proposal to make that easier is in a holding pattern in the state legislature.
One of the state’s main tools for attracting businesses is tax breaks. But Haslam argues many companies would prefer cash up front, even if it’s for a smaller amount, because they want to spend it right away. Haslam says that could save Tennessee money.
“It’s not just the cash value of money. Usually, if they’re expecting something, they need – it’s a capital question for them: do they have enough funds to make it work? So what we’ve found is companies put a lot more value in that dollar now than they do two dollars two years from now.”
Haslam also defended a proposal to let the state see private financial data for businesses it’s courting, without making that data public. He argues it’s not to hide information that’s available now, but to let the state review private company info discreetly.