Gov. Bev Perdue said she intends to go to the mats during the upcoming session to fight for state incentives to attract businesses.
Although the incentives have come under criticism from both the right and the left, Perdue said North Carolina is having an increasingly difficult time competing with Virginia, Georgia and Alabama because they offer better incentives.
“I desperately believe that I have to have the incentive abilities that other governors have,” Perdue said. “The incentives that I have now are no longer as robust as they were because all the other Southern governor's packages have gotten more sophisticated and more competitive than North Carolina's.
“I don't like them(incentives),” Perdue said, “but they are part of the game.”
As the debate unfolds, Perdue said she will be prepared to name two companies that North Carolina lost because it did not have sufficient incentives. She also said she could name companies that would not have come to North Carolina without incentives.
Perdue told a story of recruiting one corporate executive in Charlotte to bring his company to come to North Carolina during the day, only to have another governor fly into Charlotte that same evening to woo the executive.
“It's a battle out there,” Perdue said. “Alabama Virginia, Georgia have better tools than we do.”