Gov. Roy Cooper has a history of publicly denouncing “corporate tax giveaways.” Indeed, last year he offered up this question: “Are we going to invest in education and our people, or are we going to continue with further corporate tax giveaways?”
And earlier this year he declared “We cannot sacrifice education at the altar of even more corporate tax cuts or giveaways that are mostly for the wealthiest.”
From the rhetoric, it sounds like Cooper is against tax giveaways to corporations. His actions, however, show that he is all for them.
Last year it was, among others, Credit Suisse. Several more handouts in 2018 have tallied up $195 million in giveaways to handpicked corporations. Now we have reports about legislators and the governor teaming up to package another sweet deal for Apple.
North Carolina state legislative leaders proposed substantial changes to economic-development incentives on Thursday, amid increased public attention on tech giant Apple’s interest in locating in Research Triangle Park. ..
The incentives package will be incorporated in the state budget. It focuses on the main incentives program: the Job Development Investment Grant.
It sets new thresholds to attract companies that would invest at least $1 billion and create at least 3,000 jobs.
Gov. Roy Cooper’s office released a statement later in the day supporting the changes
You may recall that in 2009, North Carolina handed Apple one of the largest incentive deals in state history to locate its server farm in Catawba County. According to UNC School of Government research that deal was valued at more than $320 million – to create an estimated 50 jobs. Yes, fifty jobs.
If the terms offered in these corporate welfare projects are so enticing to business investment and job creation, why not apply the same terms across the board to all businesses? Imagine the economic growth.
But treating all businesses the same would take away politicians’ chance to – in part – centrally plan the state’s economy and invite more political patronage. And they don’t want to give that up.
And of course, corporate welfare is a bi-partisan problem.