Aerospace tax preferences
Washington State Aerospace Tax Preferences
Senate Bill 5952, Passed by the Legislature, Nov. 9, 2013
“It is the legislature's specific public policy objective to maintain and grow Washington's aerospace industry workforce. To help achieve
this public policy objective, it is the legislature's intent to conditionally extend aerospace industry tax preferences until July 1, 2040, in
recognition of intent by the state's aerospace industry sector to maintain and grow its workforce within the state.”
Key developments since extending preferences in November 2013
Boeing corporate Washington state
• Cut 3,343 jobs from its Washington state workforce. This includes moving
hundreds of engineering and design jobs to Missouri, Oklahoma, California,
Pennsylvania and South Carolina.
• Announced plans to build a new finishing plant for 737 commercial
aircraft in China.
• Started construction of the 777X wing plant in Everett. The new plant is
designed to use state-of-the art robotic automation.
• Opened a new research and technology center in St. Louis, where more than
700 engineers, technicians and staff will develop advanced technologies.
This is in addition to new centers in Alabama and South Carolina.
• Spent $12.6 billion to buy back shares of its own stock.
• Posted $9.6 billion in net earnings.
• SPEEA and Machinists District 751 (IAM 751) are working together closer
today than ever before. These efforts include ensuring aerospace tax preferences benefit the workers and citizens in the state that provides them to the
• Scrambling to find money to fully fund education. Some estimates call for an
additional $1.65 billion annually to meet the State Supreme Court decision to
fully fund Washington’s public schools.
Back to Olympia to tie
tax breaks to jobs and pay
By Bill Dugovich
SPEEA Communications Director
Twoyearsafter Washingtonhastilyextend- ed $8.7 billion in tax breaks to The Boeing Company and other aerospace
companies, the score on the results sheet looks
lopsided. But, as any fan of the Seattle Seahawks
knows, the only score that counts is at the end
of the game.
Since passing the largest corporate welfare package in U.S. history in November 2013 to “
maintain and grow Washington’s aerospace industry
workforce,” Boeing has cut 3,343 jobs from its
Washington workforce. Many of the jobs moved
to other states where increased employment was
a requirement to tap into tax breaks.
With corporate profits at record levels, Boeing
mounted an intense lobbying effort in Olympia
earlier this year to keep its tax break intact.
It worked, stalling efforts of key legislators,
SPEEA and Machinists District 751 to bring
accountability to the Washington Aerospace Tax
However, thanks to involvement and dedication
of union members who wrote letters, sent emails
and took time to inform legislators, families and
friends, tax accountability is still alive.
SPEEA, the Machinists and legislators are still
working hard to bring the same accountability
to Washington’s aerospace tax breaks that other
states had the foresight to include.
The proposed bills – HB 2147 tying tax breaks
to jobs and HB 1786 providing living wages –
resume in the House Finance Committee when
the 2016 session begins Jan. 11.
Polling showed public support was solidly
behind the effort. Two-thirds of likely voters
across Washington supported tying aerospace tax
incentives to requirements that the companies
taking the tax breaks maintain jobs in the state
and pay workers a living wage. Support was on
both sides of the Cascades and across the political spectrum.
Introduced by Rep. June Robinson (38th district), HB 2147 captured the deep frustration of
the legislature and the public when thousands
of Boeing jobs started leaving Washington after
$8.7 billion worth of state tax incentives were
granted to maintain and grow jobs in the state.
Sponsored by Rep. Mia Gregerson (33rd district),
HB 1786 addresses the issue of low wages at
aerospace suppliers. Despite the perception of
good wages, many companies pay production
workers between $10-15 an hour. The bill
addresses the need to ensure that companies
taking tax breaks are not just using them to
increase profits. Thousands of aerospace workers struggle to make ends meet, forcing some to
actually rely on food stamps and food banks.
HB 1786 makes the tax incentive available
only to companies that pay state median wage
($19.67) for employees with three or more years
As our efforts gear up for the legislative session,
watch for opportunities to get involved and
help ensure the score at the end of this game has
Washington state, Boeing workers and employees in the supplier network winning.
I SUPPORT Tax Incentive Accountability
District Lodge 751