OLYMPIA (Jan. 27, 2016) — Aerospace Tax Incentive Accountability legislation (HB 2638) would ensure that the nation’s largest corporate tax break — Washington’s $8.7 billion aerospace tax preference bill approved in November 2013 — meets its original intent to “maintain and grow Washington’s aerospace workforce.” Dozens of workers, community members and union leaders traveled to Olympia to describe the toll that thousands of layoffs are having on their families and communities, and to urge the Legislature to protect Washington’s aerospace future by creating job accountability via HB 2638. But the bill remains in the House Finance Committee, without a vote.
TAKE ACTION! Our State Representatives in Olympia should go on record about whether they support our aerospace workforce and transparency and accountability for massive tax breaks. Click here to send an email to your State Representatives urging them to help Washington families by advancing the Aerospace Tax Incentive Accountability bill.
At the HB 2638 hearing, Terri Parsons, an engineer from Tenino, described her long-time dedication to Boeing and her shock and fear when when she and 70-plus colleagues were brought into a room and told their jobs were being eliminated and moved to out-of-state firms — firms with little aerospace experience: “We were all about the same age – 40s and 50s mostly. I’m not old enough to retire but feeling too old to start a brand new career.”
And Terri is far from alone in looking to the future and fearing what will happen to her family.
Since the legislature approved these aerospace tax breaks in 2013, Boeing has shed 4,057 jobs from its Washington workforce while taking advantage of hundreds of millions of dollars in tax incentives from our state. These aren’t cyclical job cuts. These are Washington families who are suffering as Boeing moves the vast majority of these jobs to other states, several of which also have tax incentives. The difference? Washington’s aerospace competitor states — South Carolina, Missouri, Alabama, and others — all require companies to create jobs in order to get their tax break. But not Washington.
HB 2638 is about our state’s future. Boeing would have to maintain or exceed current job levels in Washington state to continue receiving the full tax incentive. If Boeing receives the tax breaks and cut jobs beyond current levels, the amount of their tax incentive would be reduced. HB 2638 takes into consideration job loss due to economic downturns, in which case the tax incentive would remain in place.
TAKE ACTION! Send an email to your State Representatives urging them to help Washington families by advancing the Aerospace Tax Incentive Accountability bill. Tell them to vote, and to vote YES on HB 2638!
Aerospace companies that promise job creation in exchange for tax incentives MUST be held accountable for their promises, especially at a time when our state desperately needs revenue to fully fund public schools and other essential services.