Credibility Crisis: Cooper Tries to Have It Both Ways on Corporate Taxes

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Raleigh, N.C. — Take a look at what Jon Sanders over at the John Locke Foundation dug up in a matter of minutes. It really makes you wonder what exactly reporters are doing when they cover Governor Cooper’s remarks without an ounce of skepticism or checking the facts.

“What a maddening display by Gov. Roy Cooper [last week]. He met with executives at corporations he awarded over ninety million dollars in incentives from state taxpayers, asks them what they need, they say a skilled workforce, and his takeaway is to pretend they just proved his case for more education spending and no corporate tax cuts.

“You see it, don’t you? The flaw in Cooper’s reasoning is glaringly obvious.

“Media don’t, however. Here’s WFAE’s report:

“‘Cooper heard from multiple business executives, representing companies like Honeywell, AvidXchange, Allstate, and Lending Tree at the event. Mayor Vi Lyles and UNC Chancellor Philip DuBois also attended.’

“Let’s look at the grants Cooper has given those companies

· Honeywell: $42.5 million, announced December 3, 2018

· AvidXchange: $19.6 million, announced December 18, 2018

· Allstate: $17.8 million, announced August 9, 2017

· Lending Tree: $8.4 million, announced December 6, 2018

“Other companies represented in the meeting were Chime Solutions, Ernst & Young, and Stratifyd. Cooper announced a $3.2 million grant to Ernst & Young on February 27, 2018.

“That brings the sum total of corporate welfare in that group to $91.5 million.

“So at this meeting with executives at companies to which the State of North Carolina is giving nearly $100 million over the next 12 years, surprisingly none of them ask for a tax cut:

“‘Cooper also said he didn’t hear business leaders ask for a lower corporate tax rate. Republican state lawmakers included in their 2019 budget a cut to the state’s corporate tax that amounts to a 33% reduction by 2021. GOP lawmakers and the governor have been in standoff over that budget since last June.’

“I don’t know what’s worse. Cooper’s pretending that corporate welfare recipients should have the definitive say on the taxation levels faced by all their competitors, or the media’s gaumless cheerleading without questioning it at all — or doing what I did just now in a matter of minutes.”

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