Tuesday, April 24, 2007, 1:37 PM

Court of Appeals to Hear Incentives Challenge Tomorrow

Tomorrow the Court of Appeals will hear oral argument in Blinson v. State. This is a constitutional challenge to economic development incentives. The defendants are the State, Forsyth County, the City of Winston-Salem, and Dell Inc. (Womble Carlyle represents Dell). Plaintiffs, led by former Supreme Court Justice Robert Orr, are challenging tax legislation adopted by the General Assembly a couple of years ago to lure major computer manufacturing facilities to North Carolina. Plaintiffs are also challenging the local incentives issued to Dell by the City and County to lure Dell to their communities.

Judge Hobgood dismissed Plaintiffs' claims for lack of standing (Plaintiffs assert taxpayer standing) and on the merits. From that order Plaintiffs appealed. Their claims include challenges under the N.C. Constitution's public purpose clause, uniformity clause, and exclusive emoluments clause, as well as the dormant commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution.

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