Analysis: North Carolina’s “Bathroom Bill” to Cost $3.76 Billion

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

The Associated Press has produced an impressive, comprehensive review of lost business opportunities and economic activity that the state of North Carolina has already seen and can expect to see in the very near future.

The Press goes into painstaking detail on every opportunity the state will miss out on if they don't repeal the anti-gay, anti-transgender "bathroom bill" HB2 which prohibits cities from passing their own LGBT non-discrimination ordinances and criminalizes transgender bathroom use.

In total, the Associated Press estimates that North Carolina will miss out on over $3.76 billion dollars over the next decade, much of which has already been locked in.

Over the past year, North Carolina has suffered financial hits ranging from scuttled plans for a PayPal facility that would have added an estimated $2.66 billion to the state's economy to a canceled Ringo Starr concert that deprived a town's amphitheater of about $33,000 in revenue. The blows have landed in the state's biggest cities as well as towns surrounding its flagship university, and from the mountains to the coast.

North Carolina could lose hundreds of millions more because the NCAA is avoiding the state, usually a favored host. The group is set to announce sites for various championships through 2022, and North Carolina won't be among them as long as the law is on the books.

Notably, the estimation that the state will lose $3.76 billion in economic activity is actually a conservative estimate because the Associated Press only included canceled business deals and opportunities that were publicly documented. We don't now how much business the state could be losing that was privately but never publicly considered.

While Texas is awfully close to passing their own bathroom bill, North Carolina remains the only state in the entire country with a bathroom bill on the books today. Organizations and businesses making plans for their own future have no incentive to conduct business in North Carolina when almost any other state would suffice.

Unfortunately, Governor Roy Cooper cannot unilaterally repeal HB2 and state Republicans are still in denial.

  • muselet

    Until a couple of years ago, Righties had never even heard of transgender people (okay, the older members of the tribe had probably heard of Christine Jorgensen and Renée Richards, and maybe saw Myra Breckenridge once upon a time, but the entire subject used to be treated as a bad joke). Then, suddenly transgender people peeing became the biggest threat to the nation since the end of the Soviet Union for reasons that remain unclear (the “easy target” theory is unpersuasive, but I can’t think of a better one).

    Hysteria and bigotry are very expensive, it turns out. I wonder if the North Carolina and Texas Rs will learn that lesson (nah).


  • gescove

    Because, as Republicans repeatedly demonstrate, no cost is too great to bear in pursuit of harming everyone and anyone who is not white, wealthy, male, cisgender, straight, and Christian.

    • Dread_Pirate_Mathius

      The sad thing is they don’t actually care. They just have to pick a victim de jour to provide the social wedge issues that keep them in power.

      Unfortunately for them, they have to keep switching victims as social progress catches up. Place your bets who who is next after the Irish, Japanese, Communists, Jews, blacks, gays, Muslims, and transgendered.