Tax Incentive Accountability
States granting the largest aerospace tax incentives – ranked by size
Washington 2013 $8.7 billion 0
Washington 2003 $3.24 billion 0
South Carolina 2009 $900 million
Missouri 2014 $229 million
Alabama 1997 $150 million
South Carolina 2013 $120 million
Since 1996, Boeing has been on the receiving end of 152 tax subsidies worth more than $13.1 billion, according to data compiled by Good Jobs First,
a national policy resource center for grassroots groups and public officials.
Despite the IAM vote and the Washington
legislature vote for $8.7 billion in tax breaks,
Boeing is moving jobs out of the state. Boeing
must be held accountable for reneging on
its pledge. The state should amend the tax
breaks to make them contingent on job
Three years ago I decided to relocate to
Washington and take a job with Boeing.
During contract talks, I was shocked by the
unprofessionalism of upper management.
Now, the tax break. Boeing bullied our government into a bad deal. Giving a tax break
to a company making record profits without
securing jobs for Washington workers is
unethical. Today, I worry I will be forced to
relocate again to stay in engineering.
With record profits and order backlogs,
how is it appropriate corporate citizenship
for Boeing to not pay its fair share in taxes
to support our communities? Our school
system needs help and Boeing does not
meet their social responsibility. We are
paying Boeing to move our jobs elsewhere.
We need to hold Boeing accountable.
There needs to be a penalty for keeping the
money but moving jobs.
19-year technical worker
By Bill Dugovich
SPEEA Communications Director
Efforts by SPEEA and the IAM to tie Washington aerospace tax incentives to maintaining and growing jobs with living wages are gaining support in the halls of the state legislature as members and
union officials continue meeting with lawmakers.
Legislative directors from
both unions are now working
with members to bring them
to Olympia and talk face-to-face with their representatives.
“Legislators are very receptive
to hearing from the people
being impacted by Boeing’s
decision to take tax incen-
tives and then move work,”
The work is likely to produce bills that will revise the tax preference bill
to meet language that currently exists in the “intent” section. That lan-
guage states the incentives are granted to grow
Washington’s aerospace industry and the well-
paying jobs it provides. However, the bill itself
has no requirement for companies – including
Boeing – to maintain employment or ensure
workers earn a living wage.
During more than 20 meetings with state legislators before the session started on Jan. 12, there
was bipartisan concern regarding the drop in
Boeing’s Washington workforce since passage
of the $8.7 billion aerospace tax preference bill
in November 2013. According to Boeing’s own
website, the company’s Washington workforce is
down by 2,537 between Oct. 31, 2013 and Dec.
18, 2014. The number includes hundreds of SPEEA-represented employees who were laid off and did not
find new jobs within Boeing.
Jon Holden, President of IAM
751, applauded the joint effort
during his address to the SPEEA
Council in January.
“The discussions we’ve been hav-
ing and this work we’ve been doing
together is amazing,” Holden
said. “Your issues are our issues.
If Boeing moves engineering jobs
out of Washington, our members
know their jobs
In the competi-
tion for Boeing work sites, South Carolina, Missouri and
Alabama tied receiving tax breaks directly to increasing
employment. All of those tax incentives pale in comparison
to Washington’s tax preference bill.
Tax incentives are also not increasing wages within the supplier base. In 2009, the state reported 3,312 aerospace manufacturing workers in Washington earning less than $15 an
hour. By 2012, the most recent figures available, the number
had grown to 5,645 manufacturing workers, or about 38%
of the non-Boeing aerospace manufacturing workforce.
Council Rep. Orlando DeLosSantos, right, talks with IAM Legislative Director
Larry Brown. DeLosSantos is one of many SPEEA members who have met with
state legislators to push for tax incentive accountability.
I SUPPORT Tax Incentive Accountability
District Lodge 751