Auto manufacturer coming our way?
NORTHEAST N.C. — There has been much speculation about the actions of at least one auto manufacturer that might be planning to set up shop in the northeast corner of North Carolina.
Although nothing is known for certain, it has been speculated that Volvo has shown interest. According to area lawmakers, Gov. McCrory cited economic incentives as critical to making such a deal. He asked that the Legislature act promptly to approve the incentive funds so that his team would have the tools needed.
McCrory did not specify which tools he needed or how much they would cost, or which companies they would appeal to. But the inference was clear.
In speaking to state Rep Bob Steinburg, he was unable to identify exactly which car manufacturer is in play. But he did say that it could be more than one, and perhaps two — in different parts of the state.
When asked about tax incentives, Steinburg again stated that he is basically opposed to incentives and has said so several times. But if a car manufacturer were to locate here — with the jobs it would generate — he might be willing to change his position.
A manufacturer such as this brings numerous ancillary suppliers. The incentives do not apply to them. So the incentives paid bring a far broader employment base at no additional cost to the state.
The discussion about this jobs issue applies to the Debt Affordability Study, in the following way:
If a manufacturer came to an area east of I-95, this might provide the impetus to propel the highway construction project connecting the four-lane Hwy 17 south of the Virginia line to US 64 at Williamston.
Borrowing money is not a preferred means of funding for capital improvements, but if the state can jumpstart a highway project such as this, with the attendant job gains, this should be seriously considered.