by Sarah Curry
Director of Fiscal Policy Studies
I have been seeing legislators blaming the Senate for not passing House Bill 117 as the reason for North Carolina not getting the Volvo plant. But what lawmakers forget is that incentives are not the only reason a company picks a state. According to a Charlotte Business Journal article,
“…some site-selection consultants say the state’s mega-sites aren’t up to par with others in the Southeast.”
“Both Georgia and South Carolina are getting their legislative and regulatory houses in order to compete for the plant.”
“Officials in Berkeley County in South Carolina are working on permits…”
It seems to me, like the Toyota deal that fell through, there are things about North Carolina that keep this type of business from coming to the state other than the amount of money we will give them. Toyota needed a direct flight to Tokyo – our airports didn’t have that. Now, Volvo needs a large mega-site (ours aren’t very good), they need a good regulatory climate (ours is too burdensome) and ease with or less permitting (we have a ridiculous amount of permits).
So lawmakers….if you want to make North Carolina attractive to business, maybe it is time to start looking at the reasons businesses don’t come here over our other Southeastern neighbors instead of pointing the finger or running to the taxpayer funded checkbook.