(The Center Square) — Tennessee’s Department of Economic and Community Development asked for $202.5 million in additional budget outlays for next fiscal year in its budget request meeting with Gov. Bill Lee and staff.
The largest portion of the budget increase was for $103 million in FastTrack grants, most of which go to companies that are moving to Tennessee or expanding in the state. Of that, $18 million was proposed as a recurring budget increase with $85 million being a one-time increase.
Commissioner Stuart McWhorter said that the department mainly uses the funds to “incentivize job creation” by offering publicly funded incentives to private companies who are willing to pay more than each county’s median wage for its new positions.
“We are very cognizant of the taxpayer dollars we use to incent these companies,” McWhorter said. “We don’t take that lightly.”