Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Business subsidy? NC-SC state line makes big difference

A reader's reaction to the Observer's Sunday editorial about Amazon.com's decision to scrap its planned S.C. distribution center, when the S.C. legislature nixed a five-year sales tax exemption, led me to discover this report that ranks states for their openness in publicly disclosing state subsidies for new businesses. (The chart you'll want to see is on p.7.)

The report from the nonprofit Good Jobs First grades North Carolina a C+ but ranks the Tar Heel state No. 3. South Carolina rates an F and is one of 14 states clumped at the bottom of the rankings. Is it something in that weird mustard-based barbecue sauce?


consultant said...


Don't get me started on South Carolina. The worst..

Anonymous said...

No to Amazon, but yes to tax breaks for scam artists like Red Ventures and Inspiration Ministries. Maybe it is just the Lancaster County government getting kickbacks...

Anonymous said...

There might have been a time once to exempt fledgling internet businesses with no physical presence in your state from state income tax.

No physical presence? That's a real laugh when you consider all those Fedex and UPS trucks now rumbling through your neighborhood.

Nascent internet start-ups? Amazon earned over a billion dollars. Part of Amazon's billion came from a competitive advantage gained through sales-taxes avoidance. The millionaires and billionaires of the Northwest thank you. By the way, no income tax in Washington state. But you do have to pay sales taxes on your Amazon purchases there.

REI and Costco are also headquartered in Washington state. But they located here, and employ here. So their online businesses collect NC sales taxes. So now it is becoming a competitive disadvantage to physically locate someplace...anyplace.

Your brick-and-mortar mom-and-pop shops also paid sales taxes...until they went out of business and left an empty building blighting your boulevard. It's not hard to find a vacant store front today. Just look left, or right.

The internet has grown up. So should we. I paid the estimated sales tax on my NC return. But it's time to formally end the internet sales-tax dodge. I don't see a reason to needle SC when we both have massive deficits to contend with.

Jumper said...

It's such a scam when big companies blackmail states into such deals. Unfortunately most state government officials rush slavishly into just such deals.

Anonymous said...

>> no income tax in Washington state.

Well they don't CALL it an income tax, but Washington state DOES have Business & Occupation (B&O) taxes.

Microsoft runs its software licensing business out of Nevada in order to avoid B&O taxes (but of course Bill Gates lobbied to make other Washingtonians pay income taxes).

consultant said...

Modern America = today's Las Vegas.

Shell game, get something for nothing, catch me if you can, privatize the profits/socialize the losses, IT'S ME BABY!, greed is good.

Folks, muni bonds are about to crater. Hint: cash out if you can. Cities are Dead Man Walking, and the counties are deep, deep in debt and without a clue as to what to do (bankruptcy around the corner?). States? You know the deal-most of them are broke.

What's next? Higher taxes (or as conservatives like to call them-higher fees) and fewer services.

Just what Ronnie Reagan and the bad boys of 1980 ordered.

Anonymous said...

I wonder who has been reading the trends forecaster? I would suspect we are on the brink of WW III. What else can the government do when the dollar has hit a 3 year low? When all else fails they take you to war.