Despite some ruffled feathers over incentives designed to sway the American Institute of CPAs to relocate more than 300 jobs here, the Durham County commissioners approved giving the institute a $400,000 incentive package as part of its relocation strategy.The approval came on the heels of a minor controversy last month, when an AICPA spokesman was quoted in a local paper as saying that the incentives did not play a major role in the institute selecting Durham as its relocation venue.

As a result, county manager Mike Ruffin yanked the package from the board's agenda, and questioned why the institute was receiving the package if they were coming anyway.

Last year, the AICPA unveiled a plan to relocate some 355 positions from its New York City and Jersey City, N.J., locations and retained a national search firm in the effort.

The AICPA is also set to receive state subsidies worth up to $7 million, though that won't kick in until the institute invests $5 million on the local tax books.

Durham County said that it would reimburse the AICPA for up to $150,000 in documented relocation expenses, as well as another $1,000 in training expenses for each Durham County resident hired, to a maximum of $250,000.

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