More groups keep coming out urging Gov. McCrory to call a special legislative session to expand corporate welfare programs, along with extending targeted tax credits, especially the credits for the film industry set to expire at the end of this year.
Previously, I’ve expressed opposition to such a special session, but now I’ve realized this could be a golden opportunity for Gov. McCrory and legislative leaders to make a bold statement and take a huge step forward in the pursuit of economic growth.
I now encourage the Governor and legislators to convene a special session to address the topic of government subsidies and targeted tax credits, but in a far more economically beneficial – and fair – manner.
If I had my way, here is the joint statement Gov. McCrory and legislative leaders would put out to clarify their stance on these issues:
“We are calling a special legislative session in order to create a more competitive, and fair, economic climate in North Carolina. The result would be more jobs, greater economic growth, and the elimination of cronyism and political manipulations of the economy.
First, we recognize that government handouts to specific corporations is simply wrong. It is inappropriate and unacceptable for the government to use its force to coerce tax dollars from hard-working citizens only to dole those tax dollars out to politically-favored companies who have the most lobbyists roaming the halls of the legislature. Not only does this provide an unfair competitive advantage to the subsidized companies, forcing other companies to downsize or go out of business, it also invites a culture of political corruption with corporations jockeying for a spot at the taxpayer trough. In this special session, we will introduce legislation to eliminate all taxpayer subsidy programs that involve taxpayer dollars being given to companies.
Secondly, we agree with advocates from the film industry that lower taxes stimulate more investment and job growth. Jobs do indeed “evaporate” and industries are “put in jeopardy” when tax burdens are higher in NC than they are elsewhere. With that in mind, we will also be proposing in this special session legislation that will extend the film tax credits indefinitely, but more importantly, will apply these tax credits to all business investment. If the film industry thrives due to the lowered tax burden resulting from the tax credits, imagine how many other industries will thrive in North Carolina if all businesses could take advantage of the tax credits that have enticed so much film production investment.
Indeed, our legislative staff has combed the state tax laws to identify all tax credits and exemptions applied to targeted businesses or industries. Included in this legislation will be a mandate extending and applying equally every single one of these tax credits and exemptions to all companies doing business in North Carolina. This not only will generate tremendous economic and job growth, but is the only fair way to tax businesses. After all, what is more fair than taxing all businesses and economic activity equally? Even advocates of “social justice” must agree to that standard.
We look forward to returning to Raleigh and passing legislation that will make North Carolina one of the most economically competitive states in the nation.”
Who would be on board?