Corporate Welfare

Secretive SC Panel Doles Out Corporate Welfare

"Public" notices of meetings are posted by their own elevators

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COLUMBIA — You already may know that South Carolina spends $896 million annually on economic development incentives, according to figures compiled in a recent 10-month study by The New York Times.

What you may not know is that figure, which breaks down to 15 cents of every tax dollar, or $194 per person, is doled out to companies in part by a group of 11 people at meetings held out of the public eye and, until Thursday, without any media present for at least the past five years.

Operating away from public scrutiny, the S.C. Coordinating Council for Economic Development greases the wheels of economic development through the approval of millions of dollars in grants and other incentives.