NC’s Commerce Secretary is upset that NC legislators didn’t pony up enough taxpayer dollars to bribe Volvo to bring its plant to North Carolina.
Commerce Secretary John Skvarla said Monday that North Carolina lost its bid for a Volvo manufacturing plant in part because the legislature hasn’t approved more jobs incentive funding.
Skvarla’s comments came hours after Volvo announced it will build a new $500 million plant near Charleston and employ up to 4,000 people….
Skvarla said his department couldn’t make a competitive offer because its main incentives fund, known as the Job Development Investment Grants, is out of money. Both the House and Senate have economic development bills that raise the incentives cap, but neither proposal has made it to Gov. Pat McCrory’s desk.
“I’m not sure we were ever in the game with Volvo because of that,” Skvarla said. “We need the cap lifted, and we need longevity in the program.”
According to the NY Times, South Carolina legislators were quite generous with their taxpayers’ dollars to buy themselves a big ribbon-cutting ceremony.
South Carolina officials lined up sizable incentives to lure the Volvo plant. The automaker will receive about $200 million in combined incentives. That includes $120 million in economic development bonds, $30 million in state grants and an additional $50 million of incentives from a state-owned utility company, Santee Cooper.
A better approach for NC would be to end the crony incentives game and reduce and simplify taxes for all businesses. Less government intrusion into the economy will create more sustainable economic growth, and decrease the political patronage and potential for corruption in Raleigh.