NC House Republican Leaders Are ‘Glad’ to See Roy Cooper’s Change of Attitude on Corporate Tax Breaks

House Finance leaders emphasized support for lowering taxes statewide in a press conference Wednesday, noting Gov. Roy Cooper seemed to have a “change of attitude” whether tax cuts can attract jobs to North Carolina.    

Gov. Roy Cooper announced a $40 million tax incentive for an international bank to come to North Carolina on Tuesday, touting the tax break for attracting 1,200 jobs to the state.

Gov. Cooper previously insisted companies aren’t attracted to the state by lower tax rates, saying “the first question they ask me is not what your corporate tax is.”

“The governor has resorted to doublespeak to confuse North Carolinians,” said House Finance Chairman John Szoka (R-Cumberland).  “We have shown we are committed to improving the whole state.”  

“I’m glad to see his change of attitude,” said Rep. Bill Brawley (R-Mecklenburg) said of Gov. Cooper’s announcement a $40 million tax incentive would attract 1,200 jobs yesterday.  “We are here to improve the whole state of North Carolina.”

Reps. Brawley and Szoka have proposed lowering taxes on North Carolina-based businesses in House Bill 356 Tax Reduction Act of 2017, and a similar proposal is in the state senate budget released this week.

By contrast, Gov. Cooper has repeatedly opposed tax relief for North Carolina-companies:

Business NC – “Cooper wants N.C. business leaders to oppose business tax cuts.” – May 4, 2017

Roy Cooper told Charlotte Chamber leaders this week that he wants business people to oppose state corporate tax cuts.

Asheville Citizen Times – Cooper: Education more important than tax cuts.” – March 21, 2017

(Cooper) said when he meets with the heads of companies he is trying to persuade to either come to the state or expand here, “The first question they ask me is not what your corporate tax is. The first question they ask me is, ‘Do you have that skilled workforce?’”

“Tax breaks for corporations…that’s where we’re going to have a major disagreement.”

State of the State Address – March 13, 2017 –

Cooper: “We cannot sacrifice education at the altar of even more corporate tax cuts or giveaways that are mostly for the wealthiest.”

Asheville Citizen Times – “Roy Cooper: Put schools ahead of corporarte tax cuts.” – April 8, 2016

“Right now you have corporate tax giveaways at the expense of education and the middle class,” Cooper was quoted in the Asheville Citizen Times.  “I think we need to stop it.” – “Issues” – “Some of the biggest companies, including out-of-state corporations, have received tremendous giveaways.” – “Jobs” – “Corporate giveaways and tax cuts for the wealthiest come at a high cost for middle-class families.”



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