News reports now confirm what many suspected: legislation approved and signed by Gov. Cooper last week entitled “Championship NC Act” (HB 807) will dole out millions of taxpayer dollars to the United States Golf Association (USGA) to build a second headquarters in Pinehurst.
ThePilot.com has the details:
The United States Golf Association will build a second headquarters in Pinehurst under a multi-million incentive package approved by state and local leaders….
Last week, state lawmakers approved House Bill 807, or the “Championship NC Act,” to provide up to $18 million in performance-based state incentives to recruit a then-unnamed “sports championship employer.” That funding will come through the state’s Site Infrastructure Development Fund and includes a transfer of $3.5 million from the One North Carolina Fund and $100,000 from the Job Development Investment Grant fund. It is also the intent of the General Assembly to appropriate an additional $14.4 million over four consecutive fiscal years, in equal installments.
In return, USGA is projected to generate at least $800 million in economic benefits to the state over the next 10 years; employ at least 35 new staff positions, and 50 positions overall, with an average annual salary of $80,000.
Moore County also sweetened the deal to the USGA “in the form of tax breaks calculated as 90 percent of the total property taxes paid above and beyond the current property tax value.”
At a time when many North Carolina businesses, like bars, movie theaters and amusement parks, remain closed for the sixth straight month, it is especially egregious to be committing taxpayer dollars to a corporate giveaway.
A far more fair system of taxation would be for North Carolina to replace the state’s current web of crony handouts with the incentive of a zero corporate tax rate. This not only would be better for the state’s economy, it would be a big step in replacing the culture of corruption that goes hand-in-hand with political favoritism. Only then will business success be based on who best serves customers, not by who hires the best lobbyists.