The News & Record had an editorial this weekend on the inconsistent choices policymakers have made as it relates to tax code spending. Some tax breaks have ended while others remain and even may get expanded this session. From the piece:
Tax breaks for movie productions and historic property renovations are out. Tax breaks for more data centers are in. The North Carolina legislature is still picking “winners and losers,” but the criteria have changed.
The bottom-line is that policymakers have not established the appropriate processes to evaluate tax code spending and base their decisions on the results of such analysis. Nor do they have a set of economic development goals that reflect the realities of different regions and the needs of North Carolinians.
The result is that the pursuit of ideological purity by eliminating all tax breaks no matter their public good often falls prey to the influences of various political forces that continue to carve out special tax breaks, often inconsistently.
As we noted in a recent piece on the options available to policymakers to address the revenue shortfall, a renewed look at tax code spending is needed. So too is a criteria and process for evaluating that spending against a set of shared and relevant goals for our economy.