When too much is just too much

You know that I am a big supporter of the New Brunswick goverment being competitive on business incentives. I don’t buy the notion that we can’t ‘compete’ with other provinces or states for incentives.

However, I also believe that incentives need to be tied to an economic payback to the taxpayer. For example, if the government provides a company $15k/job for ‘training’ or a tax break that’s worth $5 million, it should be based on a 3-5 year payback in incremental taxes paid to the public purse.

Sometimes, jurisdictions go way overboard.

According to articles in local South Carolina newspapers, it appears that Google was secretly granted as much as a quarter billion dollars in tax breaks, which was more than first reported . That amounts to more than $1 million dollars for each of the 210 jobs created, paid to Google courtesy of NC taxpayers.

Now, you will recall that I grumbled when New Brunswick offered Molson $100k per job for their Moncton plant. I thought that was way over the top. Well, $1 million per job, must be some form of record.

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0 Responses to When too much is just too much

  1. Anonymous says:

    Keep in mind that you mention a ‘secret’ deal that became public. In other words its the biggest we know about. Imagine all the companies in the province, who truly knows exactly what they are getting or how much tax they are paying? Especially when the only it is found out is by ‘investigative reporting’ of which Irving papers do none. Since they own all the papers, its doubtful that even if such stories came out they would be reported.

    I remember Elizabeth Weir saying during the strike at the refinery that the government should ‘call in their loans’. Who would have thought the Irvings would need loans? Does anybody even know how many loans they have or what kind of interest they get? The only things we know are the stories and facts they choose to tell us.

  2. Scott says:

    Corporate welfare is the last thing we need in New Brunswick. It’s interesting that you mention the Molson deal. Yes, it was successful in enticing the company to our jurisdiction, but at what cost?

    Firstly, the deal upset those who believe it is unjust for some to go without prescription drug insurance coverage while huge corporations benefit from taxpayer money through “corporate welfare” or subsidies.

    Secondly, the deal upset Moosehead as they viewed the Molson deal as an extreme pork barrel project which was given to the Moncton area as a reward for sending 5 tories back to Fredericton in 2003. Again, the favoritism through corprate welfare not only created a riff between two companies, it was successfull in elevating provincial regionalization to a whole new level. And you know how touchy NBers are about getting their share of the pie.

    And lastly, since we are a small province, it is hard to sweep these things under the rug as it is viewed as regional favoritism. NBers have a long memories when it comes to this stuff.

    To be honest, the government should be in the business of leveling the playing field for all businesses wherein our province can compete globally with other region states for new business investments and skilled immigrants. Creating a climate based on petty regional porkbarrelling will do nothing for the overall health of our province, both economically and socially.

    We need to search further and harder for answers.