CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte Mecklenburg taxpayers are paying $4 million in the way of incentives to land the headquarters of Sealed Air Corporation.

The Charlotte City Council has approved the deal. But what happens if the company moves?

The Governor, the Chamber of Commerce and city leaders all praised the relocation of Sealed Air Corporation to Charlotte as the largest in the city's history.

They talked about Charlotte's airport, its quality of life, its schools. But no one led with talking about the tax breaks.

But economist John Connaughton at UNC Charlotte told NBC Charlotte Tuesday afternoon you don't do these kind of Fortune 500 headquarter relocations without some tax breaks.

The question is what happens if the deal goes south, the company moves again or the jobs don't materialize.

Well for that there's what's known as "claw back" provisions.

It means just what it sounds like-- the deal spells out that the taxpayers can "claw back" most of the money they spent to lure the company.

In the case of Sealed Air, the city says part of the $4 million business investment grant must be repaid if the company moves from Charlotte within five years of the end of the grant term.

I spoke by phone with Greg LeRoy of a national advocacy group called "Good Jobs First", and he says claw backs are considered a best practice-- especially for high profile deals like this one.

Read or Share this story: