Tax breaks cloud talk on aerospace industry

  • By Jerry Cornfield Herald Writer
  • Wednesday, February 3, 2016 8:54pm
  • Local News

OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee on Wednesday trumpeted the accomplishments of Washington’s aerospace industry the past century and declared “the sky’s the limit” in the years ahead.

“We’re growing everywhere we want to grow. We look forward to another 100 years, at least,” he told a room full of executives of aerospace firms, including the Boeing Co. which is the state’s largest private sector employer.

But Inslee, without mentioning Boeing by name, cautioned that a recent decline in jobs may compel the state to look to link industry-wide tax breaks with levels of employment.

“It is a frustration that Washington machinists and engineers have lost jobs after the aerospace incentive package was enacted awhile back,” he said at the event hosted by the Aerospace Futures Alliance.

“I don’t know that anyone has figured out the perfect answer to this problem,” he continued. “But I do believe that some measure of future job accountability is worth considering as maintaining and growing our aerospace industry is a priority that I know we all share.”

Rep. June Robinson, D-Everett, has introduced a bill this year to require the company to maintain certain job levels in order to reap the full benefits of tax incentives extended to the industry in 2013.

That deal, which helped secure manufacturing of Boeing’s 777X jetliner in Everett, will save the aerospace industry an estimated $8.7 billion in tax payments through 2040, with the bulk of it accruing to Boeing.

As written, her House Bill 2638 would result in the aerospace icon losing half its tax breaks because it’s trimmed 4,000 jobs in Washington in the past two years.

She tried something similar in 2015 without success. This year, two Republican lawmakers signed on as co-sponsors which helped it receive a hearing in the House Finance Committee on Jan. 19.

But the chairwoman of the committee, Rep. Kristine Lytton, D-Anacortes, told reporters last week it won’t be coming up for a vote.

“I’m disappointed,” Robinson said earlier this week. “I knew we had more momentum this year than the last.”

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Robinson’s effort drew minimal attention probably because most of those attending knew its fate.

No one quizzed the governor about the bill or his comments. And a Boeing official only referred to Robinson’s bill indirectly.

The legislation that passed in 2013 “has a very strict clawback provision that we are complying with,” said Susan Champlain, Boeing’s director of state and local government operations in the Pacific Northwest region.

Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, said if it did reach the Republican-controlled Senate, “I don’t think it ever has a chance of coming up” for a vote.

As for his view, he said he’s opposed.

“We all made an agreement and we all shook hands and we need to move on,” he said.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623;

Talk to us

More in Local News

Security footage depicting an armed robbery at Buds Garage in Everett on Tuesday, Jan.18, 2022. (Contributed photo)
Everett pot shop robbed twice; others targeted in recent months

Armed robbers have hit Buds Garage off Everett Avenue twice since December.

A SWAT team responds during an 8-hour standoff between police and a man brandishing a knife at a home in south Edmonds on Sunday night. (Edmonds Police Department)
Edmonds man barricaded in house arrested after 8-hour standoff

Police said he was brandishing a knife and threatening “homicidal violence” on his family.

Connie L. Bigelow at her store Miniatures & More in Edmonds on Tuesday. (Janice Podsada / The Herald)
Woman who lit her own Edmonds doll store on fire gets house arrest

Connie Bigelow, 54, was sentenced Friday in federal court for lighting her business on fire to collect insurance money.

The Washington National Guard arrived Friday at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett to help with a surge of COVID-19 cases at the hospital. (Providence) 20220121
State offers free home tests; National Guard arrives in Everett

Supply is limited at a new online portal, but Washingtonians can now order five free rapid COVID tests.

A car drives by Everett Station where Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin's proposal for its ARPA funds includes funding a child care center at station. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald) 20211118
Billionaire Bezos wants to bring free preschool to Everett

The Amazon founder’s program would be housed at Everett Station. Admission would be determined by lottery.

A rendering of the Compass Health Broadway Campus Redevelopment looks southwest at the building. The facility is planned for 82,000 square feet with a behavioral health clinic with a 16-bed inpatient center and a 16-bed crisis triage center. (Ankrom Moisan Architects)
Demolition eyed in spring for Compass Health Broadway campus

The Everett-based behavioral health care provider wants to replace the 1920-built Bailey Center with a modern facility.

A car drives by flowers placed at a memorial for two pedestrians killed at the corner of 204th Street NE and Highway 9 on Friday, Jan. 21, 2022 in Arlington, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
$500K bail for driver accused of killing 2 Arlington pedestrians

Elliott Bagley, 28, told an officer he’d had a couple beers before the crash Thursday, according to police.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Lake Stevens proposes cutting ties with Sno-Isle Libraries

Sno-Isle’s director called the move a “drastic and unnecessary action to privatize our shared public library.”

The Snow Goose Transit bus at one of it's stops outside of the Lincoln Hill Retirement Community on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022 in Stanwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Catch a free bus between Camano, Stanwood, Smokey Point

Snow Goose Transit runs on weekdays, offering 15 stops and — for those with mobility issues — door-to-door service.

Most Read