The Quality Jobs program is a state tax incentive program, created in 1993, that provides a quarterly cash payment to qualified companies of up to 5 percent of new taxable payroll. The incentive targets manufacturers and certain other industries that have a new payroll investment of $2.5 million or more, with a lower payroll threshold for certain industries and for companies located in targeted areas. Qualifying companies must meet wage requirements of the lower of the average county wage or the state index wage, and must provide their employees with health insurance. In most cases, companies qualifying for the Quality Jobs program are ineligible for the Investment/New Jobs credit. Oil and gas companies were made eligible to receive Quality Jobs payments in 2005.
The Legislature has created several complementary programs, including the 21st Century Quality Jobs Program and the Small Employer Quality Jobs Program.
Quality Jobs payments increased from $50 million in 2010 to a peak of $84.5 million in 2016 before falling to $47 million in 2018. From 2011 to 2018, manufacturing (36.8 percent) and oil and gas firms (27.1 percent) combined
for more than half of the generated rebates
A 2021 fiscal and economic analysis conducted for the Incentive Evaluation Commission found “the program from 2011 to 2018 to be a net fiscal benefit to the State, generating $4,025.4 million in additional State tax revenue compared to its total cost of $524.8 million.” The IEC recommended retaining the Quality Jobs program but with modifications to ensure that qualifying employers paid more competitive wages.