Companies included in the public scolding include Red Hat, American Airlines, Apple and PayPal. Moreover, the High Point Market lamented that dozens of its customers have threatened not to attend its annual furniture trade show.
Hmmm, what do all these companies have in common? That’s right, these self-described believers in equality before the law have leveraged political favors to milk North Carolina taxpayers for millions in corporate welfare and crony carve-outs.
- Red Hat was awarded a corporate welfare package estimated at $20 million
- Apple was recipient of one of the state’s largest corporate welfare deals in history – with handouts estimated at the time to total $58 million in its first ten years
- American Airlines last year lobbied hard to preserve a major tax exemption that would save them millions
- PayPal accepted millions in taxpayer handouts when locating a new operations center in Charlotte
- the High Point Market has been receiving millions in taxpayer funds annually for a decade or more to subsidize its annual trade show
Oh yeah, the NBA is threatening to move the 2017 All-Star game scheduled for Charlotte, because HB 2 goes against the league’s “guiding principles of equality and mutual respect”. Let us not forget that the city of Charlotte milked taxpayers for more than a quarter of a billion dollars to fund the Bobcats/Hornets basketball arena. Does that sound like the NBA franchise desiring equal treatment, or special treatment? And what about the “mutual respect” to taxpayers being forced to finance the arena?
Its hard to take seriously these corporations claims to favor “equality” under the law when they are so quick to lobby for special treatment from government to gain a competitive edge. If they truly favored equal treatment, they would seek for all businesses to be treated the same. Instead, they favor highly unequal treatment when it comes to taxes and subsidies- to favor themselves of course.