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Today is the last chance to register for tomorrow’s Crucial Conversation luncheon with business incentives expert, Professor Kenneth Thomas.

If this story is any indication, this remains an area in which North Carolina desperately needs to hear (and heed) Thomas’ message of sanity.

Click here for more info.

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On Wednesday August 31, business subsidies expert and author, Professor Kenneth Thomas will be in Raleigh to headline an N.C. Policy Watch Crucial Conversation luncheon.

Thomas’ most recent book is Investment Incentives and the Global Competition for Capital. Don’t miss this chance to hear from one of the leading experts on this most challenging topic.

Click here for more information.

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Professor Kenneth Thomas of the University of Missouri at St. Louis, an expert on public subsidies for private business will be in Raleigh on August 31 to headline a special NC Policy Watch Crucial Conversation luncheon.

Thomas’ most recent book is entitled “Investment Incentives and the Global Competition for Capital.” Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from one of the most knowledgeable folks around about this vexing and controversial subect.

Click here for more information about the event.

NC Budget and Tax Center

Despite its many flaws, the recently enacted biennial state budget took an important step forward in ensuring the performance and effectiveness of the state’s economic development efforts. Tucked into the spending plan is a provision that expands and strengthens job creation performance monitoring for those businesses that receive state-funded incentives for location or expansion, requirements that represent an important step on the longer road to more accountable—and effective— economic development incentive policies. Read More

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google logoThe News & Observer reported today about the secret dealing Google had with the NC Legislature that ultimately got them tax breaks worth $89 million over 30 years.

Google tried to silence lawmakers and pushed — at times with a heavy hand — to influence legislation designed to bring the company to Caldwell County.

Lawmakers last year approved a measure eliminating sales tax on electricity and equipment used by Internet computer centers.

As work proceeded on the bill to remove much of its tax burden, Google threatened to end negotiations because legislative staff didn't write exactly what it wanted.

It bothers me that companies and legislators are striking deals in secret when we’re supposed to have a system of open government.  Adding to the insult was a report by CBS that

Google Inc.'s fourth-quarter profit nearly tripled amid another burst of breathtaking growth that enabled the online search leader to sprint past analyst expectations…

The Mountain View-based company said Wednesday it earned $1.03 billion, or $3.29 per cents per share, during the final three months of 2006.

Google obviously isn’t hurting for money so why can’t they pay their fair share of taxes? And why can’t our legislators stop making these questionable deals in secret?