The Nebraska Department of Revenue signed more tax incentive agreements with companies in 2012 than it did in 2010 and 2011 combined.
According to the Nebraska Tax Incentives 2012 Annual Report to the Legislature, 58 companies signed agreements in 2012, nearly quadruple the 15 in 2011. Combined, there were 40 signed agreements in 2010 and 2011.
State Tax Commissioner Doug Ewald said the 58 agreements represented a record annual total since the Nebraska Advantage Act took effect in 2006.
After receiving flak from some state senators about the lack of signed deals compared with the number of incentive applications, the Revenue Department dedicated more time and resources to getting deals signed, Ewald said.
"We worked pretty darn hard last year to get agreements signed," he said.
In 2011, for instance, 62 applications came in but only 15 were signed.
The 2012 report did not include how many applications were made. Ewald said the law does not require it, which also was causing some confusion among legislators.
Continuing a trend during the past several years, the agreements are smaller in scope. Nine of the 58 agreements signed in 2012 proposed at least 100 jobs, and none proposed at least $100 million in investment. The largest investment was $55.5 million by Assurity Life Insurance Co. of Lincoln.
Fifteen of the agreements were with Lincoln-based companies or companies planning to make all or some of their investment in Lincoln. Omaha had the most tax incentive deals, with 23.