The Lumina News published a great story last week about Wilmington Industrial Development, one of those “private” groups that receive large amounts of tax dollars to promote economic development and recruit firms into the Cape Fear Region. Wilmington, New Hanover County, and Pender County put nearly $900,000 into WID from 2007 to 2009. The head of WID is sitting pretty:
CEO Scott Satterfield of WID was paid $303,669, not including benefits, in the fiscal year 2008, an increase of more than $200,000—or nearly 204 percent—from the $100,000 salary he assumed in fiscal year 2000.
A contract between New Hanover County and WID lists Satterfield’s salary for fiscal year 2000 as $100,000. That contract also indicated his salary was bumped to $110,000 in 2001. The contract specified that a portion of New Hanover County’s funding, $15,376, was intended for Satterfield’s salary that year. No other contracts, however, between the county and the City of Wilmington, list Satterfield’s pay.
Fiscal year 2007 tax forms show Satterfield’s pay rose to $191,708, plus $21,013 in employee benefit plan contributions. His pay has increased every year since.
WID has also acted as a pass-through for corporate subsidies. The whole story is well worth reading. As JLF’s Joe Coletti recently explained over at CarolinaJournal.tv, the incentive game is based on a basic misunderstanding of the economy:
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