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1036693826_8a11e4ac03_oThe Christian organization Answers in Genesis, known for its rigorous campaigning against “secular evolutionists” through young earth creationist propaganda, has been struggling financially over the years to raise enough funds to build its $150 million Noah’s Ark theme park. But thankfully Kentucky, one of the few states that can apparently compete with North Carolina when it comes to flawed budget and tax policy, has come to the rescue by approving $18 million in new tax breaks for the project. Meanwhile, 27% of the state’s children live in poverty.

Unless the state means to show blatant religious favoritism, which would obviously be unconstitutional (if not, perhaps, terribly surprising), we will just assume that the officials behind the subsidy are intending to bring in more tourists in order to promote economic development.

So, given that as a backdrop (and awkwardly sidestep the question of whether state-funded creationist propaganda is good for the scientific literacy of the general populace) let’s assess whether this is a fiscally responsible plan.

Initial signs are not terribly encouraging. Read More

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The N.C. Budget and Tax Center released a special report this morning that finds North Carolina’s economic development incentive programs could be made more effective through strategic public investments.

Due to high unemployment and a sluggish economic recovery, state leaders have lately been scrutinizing the effectiveness of the state’s economic development incentive programs in generating employment growth. These programs offer cash assistance to individual firms to induce investment and job creation in North Carolina.

The BTC report (“Mediated Incentives: Making North Carolina’s Economic Development Incentive Programs Work Better through Strategic Investments”) finds that the state’s incentive programs could be more effective at job creation if these subsidies were attached to strategic public investments in targeted, growing sectors of the state’s economy through a process called “mediation.” Read More

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Charlotte welcomed another Fortune 500 company recently as Governor Perdue and Chiquita CEO Fernando Aguirre announced the HQ is leaving Cincinnati for the sunny south. Chiquita is now the eighth Fortune 500 HQ located in Charlotte– such as Bank of America and Duke Energy. Charlotte is becoming home to some of the worst corporate actors in America. Read More