(Feb. 12, 2016) — A new survey of likely voters in Washington state found that there is overwhelming support for a change to the current aerospace tax credit law. Seventy-four percent of general election voters, and 81 percent of Democratic primary voters, support changing the law so the amount of tax breaks Boeing and other aerospace companies receive is tied to keeping jobs in the state. Among the Democratic base, support is not only broad, but deep; 55 percent of Democratic primary voters strongly favor this proposed change.
On behalf of a coalition of labor unions in Washington state, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner conducted the poll between Jan. 6-11 among 501 likely 2016 general election voters and 297 likely 2016 Democratic primary election voters in Washington. Participants were asked:
“As you may know, in 2013, the Governor and Legislature approved and extended tax breaks for Boeing and aerospace companies whose headquarters are in Washington. Some people are considering changing the law to tie the amount of tax breaks to keeping aerospace jobs in Washington state. This means that if Boeing or other aerospace jobs are cut in Washington or sent somewhere else, then the amount of their tax break would be reduced as well. Would you support or oppose this change to the law?”
But support for this proposal wasn’t just among Democrats, it extends across all demographic groups. Regardless of age, gender, party affiliation, or region, all Washingtonians support this proposal by a 60 percent or higher majority.
The new survey comes just days after the Washington State House Finance Committee narrowly rejected HB 2638, which would have tied Washington’s $8.7 billion aerospace tax incentives to jobs. The action has temporarily blocked the state’s House of Representatives from voting on the issue and leaves the aerospace giant free to continue taking tax breaks from Washington, even if it keeps cutting jobs. (Read more about this vote.)
In fact, Boeing announced on Wednesday that the company is planning significant job cuts in the Boeing Commercial Airplanes division, which is based in the Puget Sound region.
The announcement has stirred renewed interest in resurrecting HB 2638, which could be voted upon again by the Finance Committee or could be pulled from the committee via procedural means directly to the House floor for a vote by all State Representatives.