Documenting the American South Logo
oral histories of the American South
Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Jim Goodnight, July 22, 1999. Interview I-0073. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Ambivalence about business-political partnerships

Goodnight resents the North Carolina legislature's use of taxpayer dollars to lure outside companies to the state. He feels that his area has enough companies and recalls that as a North Carolinian, he never received such an incentive. He state did recently lower SAS's tax burden, however.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Jim Goodnight, July 22, 1999. Interview I-0073. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

JM: How about another one of these broad sort of philosophical things? [What is] your view of the role of the state, of government, in influencing and regulating the business marketplace? Has North Carolina been, in your judgement, a good place to do business? Have you been happy with the nature of the state's involvement in--. JG: North Carolina's been a good place to do business. My only real complaint about it is they take taxpayer dollars that we put in to pay other companies to come here. I think that's one thing that they ought to get rid of. It bothers me when I’m sitting here paying max taxes, and they're trying to get another company to come in and they're offering them free taxes for years. They never offered that to me. I do find that a little resentful. Especially [because] in this area of the state, we don’t need anymore businesses. Our roads are chock full already. The infrastructure has not kept pace with the growth. JM: The software industry isn't so much subject to these concerns, but any particular political or regulatory decision taken that had any real impact on the company? JG: Regulatory? Not really. I think we've seen some benefits from things like the R&D tax credit that we had. North Carolina has just recently passed the approval to continue that regardless of whether the federal government does or not. That's been a very good boon for us. Basically, it reduces the amount of taxes we have to pay. JM: Have you had to spend much of your time or much of your money trying to influence anybody in Raleigh or anybody up in Washington over time? JG: No, not much at all. I guess in the last few years I have paid a little bit more attention to politics because the politicians all have come to me wanting money.