Two weeks ago, I wrote about the Cooper administration’s corporate incentive frenzy in the days after his June 28 veto of the budget bill passed by the North Carolina General Assembly.
During the 33 days after Gov. Cooper’s veto of the budget, the Department of Commerce signed corporate incentive agreements to the tune of $1.2 million per day. Again, that is a strange flurry of activity given Cooper’s explanation of his veto:
This is a bad budget with the wrong priorities. We should be investing in public schools, teacher pay and health care instead of more tax breaks for corporations.
It has now been 47 days since Gov. Cooper’s veto. At this point, it appears, according to state Sen. Rick Gunn (R-Alamance), Gov. Cooper has declined to reply to all modern forms of communication from Senate leaders and is viewing his budget “compromise” as an ultimatum.
Aside from those theatrics, the Cooper administration has continued to champion corporate welfare at a frenzied pace. With the latest announcement of a multi-million dollar incentive package to Xerox, Gov. Cooper’s Department of Commerce is now averaging $1.1 million in special “tax breaks for corporations” per day since the budget veto.
The continued use of corporate tax incentives marks a glaring bit of hypocrisy in the Cooper administration’s philosophy on tax policy. Tax incentives are arbitrary, unfair, and keep overall tax rates artificially high because all other taxpayers must continue paying higher rates while the most politically connected companies get special breaks from the governor.
This type of policy might work well for politically-connected companies and powerful lobbyists, but is it best for North Carolina?