American Express Declines Tax Incentives for New North Carolina Facility

May 24, 2010

From the Asheville Citizen-Times:

American Express is planning to bring a $400 million data services center to North Carolina, and it will do so without the types of incentives many companies look to pry from state and local governments.

Multiple media outlets reported Friday the company decided this week to build the facility in eastern Guilford County. It will ultimately employ up to 150 people.[…]

County Commissioner Paul Gibson praised American Express. He thinks they’re building the facility without incentives because it’s a good business location.

As we wrote a few years ago:

A common view among lawmakers is that if companies are given a choice between special tax incentives or more neutral, broad-based tax relief, they’ll favor tax handouts every time.

This is often not true. Companies today are increasingly aware of the dual-edged nature of targeted tax preferences: they may provide short-term economic stimulus, but ultimately they increase tax complexity and compliance costs, encourage costly industry rent seeking, and raise tax burdens elsewhere in the economy.

As a state that has been burned on tax incentives a few times, North Carolina should consider welcoming all companies, not just targeted ones.

More on North Carolina here.

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