Battle over state tax credits pits California cities against each other

The California Competes tax credit program usually consists of companies sparring over a limited number of tax credits distributed every few months by a state committee.

On Thursday, however, the competition turned into a battle between two cities. Mayors of Fresno and Visalia faced off at a Sacramento committee hearing over the location of a Nordstrom distribution center.

The two mayors, representing the economically downtrodden San Joaquin Valley, lobbied the committee to approve $11 million in tax credits for Nordstrom. The panel unanimously approved the incentive in return for a promise of 367 jobs.

The clothing giant now must determine whether to locate in Fresno or Visalia, which sit 45 miles apart. And both of the mayors tried to sway Nordstrom’s decision.

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