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Washington Aerospace Tax Preferences
After Washington passed the $8.7 billion tax preference bill, The Boeing Company
began moving jobs out of the state. The company has now announced plans to
move more than 6,000+ aerospace jobs out of Washington.
Today, Boeing employs more than 2,000 fewer workers in Washington than it o t 000 f r r e s n a hing n
did in November 2013 when the tax incentive was extended. m e 13 w he x t e x d
Aerospace tax incentives on legislators’ agenda
By Bill Dugovich
SPEEA Communications Director
The Washington Legislative session begins Jan. 12 and among the issues facing lawmakers is modifying the $8.7 billion aerospace tax preference bill to tie incentives to jobs. Parallel
to this effort is adding a requirement that
ensures aerospace and related services
provide good, family wage jobs.
Since the incentives were extended 14
months ago, The Boeing Company’s
employment in Washington is down by
more than 2,000 employees.
“Legislators are listening and recogniz-
ing the need to add accountability,” said
Chelsea Orvella, SPEEA legislative direc-
tor. “Companies should not be able to
receive tax breaks at the same time they
are moving jobs out of state.”
First approved by the legislature in 2003 to
“win” the site and jobs needed to build the
787, the Washington tax incentives were
extended through 2040 during a hastily
called special session in November 2013
to “win” the site to build the 777X.
However, while the intent of the legis-
lation was to grow the state’s aerospace
industry, the bill approved by lawmak-
ers grants tax breaks without requiring
companies to expand or even maintain
employment in the state. The bill also
says nothing about wages, a loophole
that leaves the state’s more than 400
aerospace firms free to pay workers
building parts for the 787, 777 and
other highly complex aircraft at rates
comparable to fast-food cashiers. Some
firms now benefiting from the incen-
tives hire workers for $10 an hour or less.
Employees with years of experience often
can’t rise much above $13 an hour, wages
that have some aerospace workers relying
on food banks to feed their families.
Continued on page 8
Executive Director Ray Goforth, left, and IAM Lodge 751 President Jon Holden testify before the Washington state Citizens Commission for Performance Measurement of Tax
Preferences. SPEEA and the IAM are pushing for more accountability in aerospace tax preferences to ensure job creation.