The latest corporate welfare scheme coming from Asheville should give everyone a case of “bitter-beer face”:
Gov. Bev Perdue today announced that New Belgium Brewing, the third largest craft brewer in the country and the maker of Fat Tire Amber Ale, will build its East Coast brewery in Buncombe County. The company plans to create as many as 154 jobs and invest about $175 million over seven years. The project was made possible in part by a $1,000,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund.
It appears County Commissioners are eager to top off the state’s handout with a pint of local government privilege as well.
The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners will consider $8.45 million in incentive payments to New Belgium Brewing and rezoning, revaluation, personnel issues on Tuesday.
State and local politicians are drunk with power, and for too long its been happy hour for corporate cronies here in NC – with taxpayers picking up the tab of course. The ruling class are naturally all too happy to take credit for the jobs “created” (translation: shifted from current employment) if it means getting themselves good press and advancing their political agenda of accumulating more power.
“Buncombe County is quickly becoming a hub for craft brewing,” said Rep. Susan Fisher, of Asheville. “Companies like New Belgium are drawn here, not just because of our natural resources, but because of a top notch business climate created through years of forward-looking policies on education and support for business.”
Question for Rep. Fisher: if NC’s business climate is “top notch,” why did state and county politicians have to bribe New Belgium to locate here?
Bottom line: the ruling class and their corporate cronies win, taxpayers and businesses forced to compete without political privilege lose again.