Gov. Roy Cooper has for years publicly railed against “corporate tax giveaways.” He’s insisted “We cannot sacrifice education at the altar of even more corporate tax cuts or giveaways,” expressed his desire for“more investment in education instead of corporate tax cuts” and objected to a Republican budget proposal because it “values corporate tax breaks over classrooms.

Yesterday, Japanese vaccine maker Fujifilm announced its plans to invest in expanding its Wake County operations. The international corporation has annual revenue exceeding $20 billion, so I’m sure you will be relieved to know that the state of North Carolina is offering tax breaks that could amount to $15 million over twelve years. According to one news account, adding in local incentives could bring that total to $69 million.

For those keeping score, this is the second time Fujifilm has received privileged treatment from North Carolina state and local government in just the last few years – receiving a nearly $20 million grant in 2021. Both corporate tax giveaways were of course cheered by Gov. Cooper, who claims to be against corporate tax giveaways.

Yesterday’s announcement came with a promise to create 680 new jobs. We’ll see. Such corporate handouts have a very dubious track record. One investigative report revealed that, from 2009 to 2016, nearly half of the jobs promised as part of these deals never materialized, and about 37 percent of the projects failed to create even a single job. Recent developments strongly suggest this poor track record has continued

When Gov. Cooper says he’s against corporate tax giveaways, he is of course lying. What he is against is reducing the corporate tax burden for all businesses and giving equal tax treatment across the board.

Instead, he prefers to dole out targeted privileges to politically selected cronies, because that allows him to partially centrally plan the economy, and create a political patronage network that helps empower his political party.