The North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Law (NCICL), led by former North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Robert (Bob) Orr, is challenging Googleâ€™s tax breaks. Orr and the NCICL are questioning whether the North Carolina Constitution allows the legislature to extend tax breaks like the ones it awarded to Google. (Google is not specifically named in the legislation.)
â€œThe idea is that you don’t give individuals or individual companies to receive special treatment. There are provisions in the constitution that say your tax legislation be uniform. The fact is that these are tax breaks for one company. I don’t think anybody would disagree that these are not for Google.â€
Opponents criticize Orr as publicity-seeking. Orr is planning on running for governor next year. Herb Greene, Caldwell County Commissioner, said, â€œWe all feel like that’s why he’s trying to do this [legal challenge]. He’s trying to come off as a populist.â€
Greene also says that Orr and his organization display the kind of thinking that has prevented North Carolina from becoming as developed as other Southern states: â€œOver the years I’ve seen Mississippi, Alabama and South Carolina develop. I see what North Carolina had the opportunity to get. The other states were more aggressive and progressive.â€
(Personally, being a North Carolina native, I have to make a disclaimer here: Greene is surely not referring to the well-established centers of creativity and commerce, the Research Triangle Park nor Charlotte, the 20th most populous city in the nation. Or even the Triad.)
Google also received hefty tax breaks from Caldwell County and the city of Lenoir, but the NCICL will not be taking action against the local governmentsâ€™ decisions.
via Raleigh news station WRAL