To the consternation of many in the Triangle area, Apple has decided to locate their second campus in Austin, Texas. Optimism abounded in NC for the new Apple headquarter particularly since lawmakers sweetened their incentives packages to attract the tech giant. WRAL is reporting that NC lawmakers are surprised by Apple’s announcement.
Among other incentives, US News reported that the deal would virtually cancel corporate income tax payments that Apple would have made for the next 30 years. The article does a good job too in pointing out how landing Apple would have exacerbated the lack of affordable housing in the area, particularly for households not landing the big high-tech jobs. The kind of jobs that are being propped up by taxpayers by the way. The loss of revenue from Apple, while simultaneously bringing in more people, would undoubtedly place an infrastructure burden on local governments.
A few on social media, hyper-politicized-progressive types, were quick to blame dysfunctional state politics, presumably meaning the “crazed” Republican General Assembly for losing Apple, while a few others blamed the lack of light rail and bike lanes.
Obviously, better solutions would be to nix the corporate income tax altogether and improve upon pro-business policies that will benefit all in the state, not just the chosen few.
The more important question appears to be, will state political leaders take a step back from corporate incentives or double down on the unfair practice?
Will they be a part of the national herd on this issue or lead from a position of principle?
This is really a question if they have the political courage to do the right thing and explain to the populace why corporate incentives are wrong for North Carolina. I think the majority of the people are with them. Citizens want an honest, fair, and transparent government. This is the perfect issue to move more in that direction.