"We've got to at least be competitive in the income tax area and corporate tax area with our neighbors," said McCrory. "Treat our businesses as customers, not as adversaries."
McCrory crystallized his positions on a half dozen controversial issues facing the state. But two stood out -- potential cuts to unemployment benefits and possible changes under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The governor could see bills about both on his desk in the next few weeks.
"Both these decisions are extremely hard," said McCrory.
Like the legislature, McCrory supports slashing unemployment benefits to pay off the $2.5 billion the state owes the federal government more quickly.
"I was elected on the premise that you pay off your credit cards, because in the long run, that will get people back to work and off the unemployment roles," he said.
He's also stands with the legislature in rejecting a Medicaid expansion that, by some estimates, would give up to 500,000 North Carolinians access to health care. It would be paid for in full for the first three years. His reasoning is that a recent state audit showed major flaws in the system and money in year four.
"The current system is inoperable to expand," said McCrory. "And in addition, we're concerned about the long term cost after three years that has not been clarified by the federal government."
In his speech Tuesday at the Emerging Issues Forum in Raleigh, McCrory also touched on infrastructure, education, and energy exploration. He also reiterated his support for offshore drilling.
"We can either sit on the sidelines as we've done for the past 10 years or we can take proactive initiatives to get North Carolina into the energy business," said McCrory.
McCrory said he plans to meet with the governors of Virginia and South Carolina to talk about off-shore drilling and potentially forming a revenue sharing coalition. That could happen by the end of next week.