Happy Mother’s Week! Dear Corporate Welfare Weekly Recipients, We dedicate this week to the women of North Carolina! Thank you ladies for all of your hard work! Sincerely, NCICL Special announcement! Please note that you will be receiving all future issues of the Corporate Welfare Weekly on Sundays!
According to the Fayetteville Observer, Goodyear is seeking to lay off up to 70 employees! The “voluntary” layoffs are related to company upgrades. The February 1st issue of the Corporate Welfare Weekly explained that both Goodyear Tire and Bridgestone Americas were about to receive their first $2.5 million in incentive payments for job retention. So what's the deal? “Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has asked for about 70 employees in Fayetteville to sign up for a voluntary layoff related to the company's continued shift from basic tires toward fancier versions. Plant spokesman Richard Evans said in a statement that the action is "in response to an increase in production of premium brand tires that are built on the plant's more highly automated equipment." "The increase in production of premium brand tires, or high value-added tires, will result in the idling of some less-automated machinery," according to his statement. As a result, some workers will be shifted to other areas of the plant, Evans said. The deadline to sign up for the layoff - expected to start in early May - is this week, he said. Evans indicated it is not known at this time how long those layoffs will last. The plant employs about 3,000 people.”
So far, Celgard incentives total $57,850,000 $1,900,000 in local incentives has been approved for Celgard, LLC by the Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners. The county grants include more than $1.6 million in tax breaks and $350,000 in cash grants. The county board voted 4-1 to approve the package on April 19. Celgard has already been granted $49.2 million from the U.S. Department of Energy, a $1.2 million grant from the city of Concord, $4.6 million from North Carolina’s Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG), and $955,000from the state’s One North Carolina Fund. ~ Karen Cimino Wilson, Independent Tribune, April 20, 2010
$6,000,000 in incentives is being sought by American Express from the Guilford County Board of Commissioners. The New York-based credit card company is seeking a site to build a $400 million data-services operation that could employ up to 150 people. A public hearing is set for May 6 to consider the request. Amex will also seek incentives from the city of Greensboro. The amount is not yet known. The project will not produce enough jobs to qualify for state incentives. ~ Donald W. Patterson, News & Record, April 17, 2010
“There would not be any pressure on Alamance or Guilford or Buncombe or Wake to hand out incentives. There would be sort of a blanket prohibition on it, and it would thus save literally millions of dollars for local governments.” ~ Bob Orr, Executive Director of NCICL and former NC Supreme Court Justice, as quoted by The Pendulum, regarding Alamance County Commissioner Tim Sutton’s resolution to ban cash incentives in the state.
“…Forty-nine other states use incentives. That’s just the name of the game. I hate incentives… But not until there is a unilateral disarmament so that all 50 states have to give up incentives can North Carolina even consider giving them up… It’s the wrong way to do business from my perspective as a woman and as a citizen, but it’s the way to get a company to come. You can’t do it without them.” ~ Governor Bev Perdue, as quoted by the Jacksonville Daily News, was answering a question from the press during a roundtable discussion just before Christmas. The question was regarding competition, incentives, and what she learned from Dell’s departure.
$280,000 in total incentives is being sought from local governments by Glen Raven, Inc. for its Tri Vantage fabric division. Alamance County began negotiations back in February for the $200,000 sought by the company. Another $80,000 from the City of Mebane is now being sought. The Mebane City Council will discuss the issue at an April 12 public hearing. ~ Robert Boyer, The Times News, March 23, 2010
The Associated Press reported in a March 17, 2010 article written by Kathy Barks Hoffman that Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm mistakenly awarded $9.1 million in business tax credits to convicted embezzler Richard A. Short, CEO of RASCO (Renewable and Sustainable Companies LLC). WRAL added that the Michigan Economic Development Corp. said in a statement Wednesday that it was embarrassed by the slip-up. “The Michigan Department of Corrections was investigating Wednesday whether a convicted embezzler who snagged a $9.1 million business tax credit from the state has violated parole. RASCO CEO Richard A. Short shared the stage Tuesday with Gov. Jennifer Granholm as she introduced the leaders of companies awarded tax credits. She said RASCO -- short for Renewable and Sustainable Companies LLC -- planned to invest $18.4 million to establish a new headquarters in Flint. … Calls requesting comment were left Wednesday for Short, Granholm's office and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. Granholm spokeswoman Liz Boyd said a statement was being prepared. No money has been given to Short's company so far.”
“No financial incentives from state or local government entities were involved in New Breed’s acquisition of the facility. It has not been New Breed’s policy to seek nor accept incentives. We believe it is our corporate responsibility to invest in our infrastructure, not the responsibility of tax-payers.” ~ Joe Hauck, New Breed Logistics’ Director of Business Development, quoted on the company’s website back in 2005, regarding the relocating of the company’s headquarters to High Point, NC. This is a fresh reminder of how things are supposed to work in the business world. Unfortunately, due to restructuring, the company will be closing its High Point plant. Incentives would not have prevented the closure, just as the $250 million in incentives didn’t prevent Dell from closing its Forsyth County plant.
ConAgra has announced it will close its Garner Slim Jim plant by next year, eliminating 450 jobs.After an explosion at the factory last summer that killed four workers and injured dozens more,ConAgra Foods has decided it is more feasible for the company to move the remainder of its Slim Jim operations to a plant in Troy, Ohio than to reestablish operations at the damaged Garner plant. The state offered the company $450,000 through the One North Carolina Fund and the Town of Garner offeredanother $450,000 in tax breaks. Lawmakers also approved waiving the company’s property taxes for 15 years, a potential value of $3 million. Wake County declined to offer any additional incentives. ~ Sarah Nagem & Alan M. Wolf, News & Observer, March 4, 2010
“…then the good judges might as well put a match to the state constitution.” Scott Mooneyham, The Daily Reflector, February 20, 2010 Local economists answer questions about five regions of the North Carolina economy for Business North Carolina magazine’s February cover story, “Ready for a Recovery.” Here are a few questions and answers from the article: Did the Google data center in Lenoir have much of an impact in the western region of North Carolina? “No. It’s nice that they are there. It was a big investment, and it did provide a boost temporarily in construction and other activity. But I don’t think it’s going to have a significant impact over time.” ~ Todd Cherry, director of the Center for Economic Research & Policy Analysis at Appalachian State University. Business North Carolina cover story, Triad region, February 2010.
$350,000 in incentives has been granted to Northeast Foods Inc. from the One North Carolina Fund. The Maryland-based company has been a key supplier of hamburger buns to McDonald’s since 1965. The company will open the new operation in Clayton. ~ WRAL, February 22, 2010 It is rumored that Microsoft Corporation is seeking an East Coast location for its new data center. The rumors are that the computer giant will be choosing between North Carolina and Virginia for the new center. ~Sarah Newell Williamson, Hickory Daily Record, February 5, 2010
“One thing that governors and mayors absolutely love to do is win a prize in the national game called ‘Corporate Welfare Roulette.’ It's a simple casino-style game in which politicos put down a big stack of taxpayers' money on an out-of-state corporation as an ‘incentive,’ hoping that their bet outbids other states and cities trying to lure that same corporation to move to their area and hire some people. There's always a celebration when politicos ‘win’ one of these cash-for-jobs gambles. The media gather, politicos prance, the Chamber of Commerce chief grins from ear to ear and the corporate CEO mouths platitudes about free enterprise (while stuffing taxpayer cash in his pockets). … the roulette wheel continues to spin, and more and more taxpayers across the country are learning that they're getting stiffed, receiving only a fraction of the jobs they were taxed to bring to their area.” ~ Jim Hightower, a national radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and author of the book, “Swim against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go with the Flow.” This quote was taken from Hightower’s February 10 op-ed entitled Corporate Welfare Roulette.
"While we don't blame Mr. Moore and his production team for taking what is offered, it's striking that a movie focused on the inequities of granting taxpayer dollars to private enterprise would apply for and receive taxpayer-funded incentives." ~ Michael LaFaive, fiscal policy director at the Mackinac Center.
The Triangle Business Journal reported in a January 22 article that the time has come for two tire plants to receive millions in promised incentives. “A state committee is gathering data to determine whether two large eastern North Carolina tire manufacturing plants each will receive their first $2.5 million in cash payments under a program aimed at retaining jobs. The General Assembly created the program back in 2008, agreeing to give Goodyear Tire inFayetteville and Bridgestone Americas in Wilson $30 million each over the next 10 years if they continue to employ at least 2,000 full-time workers at the operations and meet other requirements. …The decision on whether the first incentive installments will be paid to Goodyear and Bridgestone is in the hands of the North Carolina Department of Commerce’s five-member Economic Investment Committee, or EIC, which also approves Job Development Investment Grants, or JDIG’s, in the state. Unlike JDIGS’s, which provide cash to companies for creating jobs, the so-called Job Maintenance and Capital Development program, or JMAC, covering the two tire companies, pays cash to keep jobs already in place. Aimed at keeping Goodyear and Bridgestone from moving their operations elsewhere, the incentives marked a new approach for North Carolina.”