North Carolina reportedly had a record year of investment in film productions in 2021 despite having a cap on its film grant, a seemingly counterintuitive result that's consistent with research on film incentives. Owing to so many other factors influencing film productions, research has found film incentives have diminishing returns and argued for strictly limiting the incentives even if they're to grow the film industry as opposed to the state's economy. Research also finds that film incentives fail at growing a state's economy, returning only cents per dollar of tax credit or grant given.
A new report published by a left-wing group included policy recommendations they claim will help hourly workers. The recommendations, however, largely introduce more restrictions, costs, and burdens to hiring hourly workers, which leads to less hiring. A better recipe to help hourly workers would be to peel back layers of government meddling in the labor market, not introduce more layers.
So far this year, Gov. Cooper has pledged over $930.7 million in tax incentives to just 22 corporations, including $845.8 million over four decades to Apple. At the same time, Cooper opposes cutting taxes across the board on the state's corporations and small businesses. Most of the businesses that would benefit from across-the-board income tax cuts are local employers with fewer than 100 people.
North Carolina's ABC system is convoluted, but the state makes it worse with its own unique set of restrictions limiting homegrown alcohol businesses. Legislation this year would relax some restrictions on distilleries, bars, and restaurants, and study other potential changes.
Innovators move fast, but bureaucracies are slow, and regulations to protect consumers can make them worse off by protecting old ways from new products and services. Legislation would bring regulatory sandboxes to NC, which waive certain regulatory obstacles on a trial period for fast-emerging products and services, helping speed innovation in a way that benefits consumers and the economy.
SB 689 would take up recent Locke recommendations for broadband expansion. It would charge broadband providers fairer rates for utility-pole attachments, including the net book value of any pole needing replacement, and expedite resolution by the NC Utilities Commission of any pole-attachment disputes.
The obvious societal need for rural broadband signals opportunities for human ingenuity in the private sector. State policymakers should continue to focus on removing regulatory barriers to enable more rapid expansion by broadband entrepreneurs.
The federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has just published a rule inspired and informed in part by a significant regulatory reform in North Carolina long promoted by the John Locke Foundation: sunset with periodic review.
Cooper's corporate welfare tally for 2020 is jaw-dropping: $519.3 million pledged to just 48 corporations. Supposedly that would lead to 11,600 new jobs, which is only about one-nineteenth the number of jobs destroyed in a year (222,300).
Citing "mediocre" transportation infrastructure, a report from a state government commission wants North Carolina to increase transportation spending by 40 percent over the next decade. To critics, it sounds like another taxpayer bailout of a poorly run state agency.
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