Following up on Chad’s post, check out this new article at nccivitas.org listing North Carolina’s 10 largest corporate welfare deals. When you begin to add up the promised tax breaks and handouts, the numbers become a bit staggering. The Dell deal tops the list with a total state deal of $260 million (how’d that work out?), followed by the recycling firm Nucor at $161 million. (NOTE: most of these deals also include local government incentives, but those are not included in the totals.)
Adding up the top ten deals, the state of North Carolina has promised more than a billion dollars in targeted tax breaks and handouts to well-connected corporations over the last dozen years. Imagine what that total is for all of the state’s incentive deals.
But as I wrote previously, the cost of the incentives game goes beyond just the dollar figures of the tax breaks and handouts.
The continued use of government business incentives serves to further politicize the economy, distorting the allocation of resources and stifling adaptation and innovation. Worse still, it fosters a dangerously cozy relationship between business executives and politicians, a relationship that should alarm all advocates of liberty and economic progress.