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NC Court of Appeals throws out Dell incentives lawsuit

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RALEIGH (AP) -- The state Court of Appeals has upheld the state and local incentives given to Dell Inc. to build a plant in Winston-Salem, saying the legality of such tax breaks was settled long ago. The three-judge panel agreed with a lower-court ruling and threw out the lawsuit filed by former Supreme Court Justice Bob Orr on behalf of some taxpayers. Orr argued the incentives don't meet the legal requirements of serving primarily a public purpose. Court of Appeals Judge Martha Geer wrote the state Supreme Court settled the lawfulness of taxpayer-funded incentives back in 1996. She says the proper place to debate incentives is now in the General Assembly or within the executive branch. The unanimous decision means the Supreme Court isn't obligated to consider the case. Dell could receive more $300 million in incentives over the next 15 years if it creates at least 1,500 jobs at the plant, which opened two years ago. (Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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