- Report Published -
|Review of the Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission|
|Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission|
|Appropriation Act - Item 30 F. (Regular Session, 2011)|
|The Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission (TICR) was established by the General Assembly in 1999 to use tobacco settlement funds to indemnify tobacco growers and revitalize tobacco-dependent localities. TICR has made 1,368 awards totaling $756 million to projects throughout the 41-locality region. Awards have provided significant benefits but have yet to revitalize the region. About half the awards have been for broadband infrastructure, workforce training, scholarships, and financial incentives to attract jobs. Awards have also been made to small local projects with limited revitalization potential. Approximately $606 million remains for future revitalization efforts.|
TICR should slow its spending to preserve a larger endowment balance. TICR also should regularly revisit its economic revitalization strategy. Measures of economic stress instead of historical tobacco production should be used to prioritize awards. The General Assembly may wish to specify relevant background for TICR members and reduce the commission’s size. To help ensure remaining funds are awarded to strong projects, applicants should show how a project will impact employment, income, and education levels, and provide a methodology and evidence for economic impact estimates. TICR staff should conduct more frequent site visits.