Under the Dome

Senate gives nod to tax breaks for five businesses

The Senate gave preliminary approval Thursday to a set of tax incentives meant to lure or encourage expansion for five companies in the state.

Sen. Dan Clodfelter, a Charlotte Democrat, said the five companies — two data centers, a turbine maker and a paper plant, would amount to a $1.6 billion investment in the state. He told a Senate committee Wednesday that the state would have to give up $9 million in taxes next year and $14 million in the following year, AP reported

The lost tax revenue is worth the investment and jobs created by the new business, Clodfelter said.

"You must spend the money in North Carolina before you qualify for the incentives," he said Thursday. "This is a fairly concrete response to negotiations that are going on with Commerce and five companies that say they are considering locating or expanding in North Carolina."

Sen. Ellie Kinnaird, a Carrboro Democrat, said incentives have questionable value and would not attract business as well as investments in education and cultural amenities. 

"We are shifting our tax burden onto you and me and our constituents," Kinnaird said. 

Sen. Bob Rucho, a Mecklenburg County Republican, said the most effective way to lure business would be for the state should lower its overall corporate tax rate.

"The corporate tax system has been a real anchor on our ability to e competitive in the states and across the globe," Rucho said.

The bill passed 39-4. It requires one more vote in the chamber before it moves onto the House.

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