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Jerry Cornfield |
Published: Wednesday, January 13, 2010, 6:19 p.m.

Lawmakers want Boeing to show its love to keep its tax break

Legislation introduced today would require the Boeing Co. and other aerospace firms to demonstrate their loyalty to the state or face the loss of the tax breaks they receive.

House Bill 2833 would, as its title indicates, require "aerospace tax incentive claimants to periodically reaffirm their commitment to the economic well-being of Washington.

The declaration isn't much. According to the bill, it would read something like.. "I affirm that the . . . [full name of business] . . . expresses a commitment to the economic well-being of residents in the state of Washington."

A firm that doesn't comply should have their tax break repealed, said the bill's prime sponsor, Democratic Rep. Brendan Williams of Olympia.

"Washington taxpayers' dollars should not be invested in South Carolina," he told me in an e-mail. "My district includes the state capitol – and it's Olympia, Washington, not Columbia, South Carolina. If my Republican colleagues swear allegiance to Mark Sanford and not our state's taxpayers that's their choice. "

The bill has 14 sponsors, all Democrats, including three whose districts include part of Snohomish County - Reps Mike Sells of Everett, Hans Dunshee of Snohomish and Maralyn Chase of Edmonds.

For those who remember, Williams stirred up things late in the 2009 session with a bill pertaining to lobbyists that took aim at Boeing's representatives who lawmakers said were constantly talking about leaving Washington if certain legislative changes weren't made.

The bill, which is still alive, said no lobbyist (of any company) could:
"Threaten any legislator, or any government official, with the relocation of manufacturing jobs including, but not limited to, jobs involving commercial airplane manufacturing, based upon the outcome of any pending or proposed legislation."

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