Rick Becker on Corporations
"What we need to do is improve our whole tax climate," Becker said. Becker said rather than provide a wide array of tax incentives the rates should be lower in order to benefit everyone and eschew picking winners and losers.
Stenehjem said the problem with the reliance on oil revenue is the large impact it has on income and sales tax collections. He succinctly outlined a key platform plank his administration would have in solving the problem. "Diversity, diversity and diversity," Stenehjem said: ways to diversify the state's economy is to push for value-added energy and agricultural products as well as grow the state's unmanned aerial systems industry.
Rep. Rick Becker agreed that technology will be key to the state's future but disagreed with Wayne Stenehjem on the state's role in business. Becker said the focus should be on lowering tax rates for individuals and businesses so everyone benefits equally.
Becker said he has a problem with the various tax incentives and programs available to try and attract businesses to the state [which Stenhjem supports]. "It sets up all sorts of problems. We're picking winners and losers," Becker said. If government focuses on one or two specific areas for economic development, it overlooks the full potential of the economy and other businesses are ignored, he said.
Becker said an enticing tax climate would make having incentives unnecessary. "The government doesn't create jobs that are productive to the economy. What it can do is get out of the way," Becker said.