A recent report done by Ernst & Young for the pro-business lobby, Council on State Taxation, ranks North Carolina's business tax burden among the lowest in the nation. (Council on State Taxation's home page here; the PDF file of the report here)
With Watauga County's own property tax rate literally the lowest of the 100 counties in the state, it certainly ought to be clear that taxes on businesses aren't the problem for promoting economic development in this county. Affordable housing, transportation, a well trained workforce, available water & sewer ... these are the barriers.
So listen closely if and when our County Commission starts talking about additional dollar inducements (as in tax breaks) to lure "manufacturing" to the county. As the Ernst & Young report shows so clearly, to continue to ask regular tax payers to shoulder more of the burden in North Carolina, for the sake of big business, is just not fair. They can pay their share. It's low enough.
Here's an article in today's News & Observer about pro-business groups in Raleigh trying to downplay or even cover up this report!