Brian’s letter in the N&R:
"Kudos to the News & Record editorial staff for supporting greater transparency in how the state’s Commerce Department hands out corporate incentives (“Open incentives deals,” June 11). The editorial disappoints, however, when it claims that such transparency will prevent the Commerce Department from being “suckered into bidding too much to land a new company.”
That’s suggesting that there somehow is a “right” price taxpayers must pay to help government planners play favorites. One penny of tax dollars (or targeted tax breaks) is too much.
If a company needs specialized treatment from government, it indicates that: a) taxes in North Carolina are too high and should be lowered across the board on all businesses, or b) the company cannot operate profitably without government assistance.
Showering specific companies with handouts or tax breaks encourages a dangerously cozy relationship between business executives and politicians, while propping up otherwise unprofitable businesses diverts scarce resources and jobs away from entrepreneurs who could create real, sustainable economic growth. Greater transparency in government is always a good thing. In this case, however, it isn’t enough. State lawmakers need to put an end to the unfair practice of corporate welfare."