Holden: Boeing taking both jobs and tax dollars

SEATTLE — Today’s reports that the Boeing Co. received $305 million in Washington state tax breaks last year are a prime illustration of why the state Legislature needs to act on aerospace tax incentive accountability, the president of Machinists Union District Lodge 751 said.

JonMillwrights“As a state, we sent $305 million to Boeing headquarters in Chicago last year, and in return we got 1,520 fewer jobs,” said IAM 751 President Jon Holden. “You don’t need an MBA to figure out that’s a really bad return on our state’s investment of tax dollars.”

Most of the 1,520 jobs Boeing cut between December 2014 and December 2015 were very-high-skill union engineering jobs that paid salaries upwards of $100,000 a year, Holden noted. “That’s a major economic blow to our communities.”

And most of those jobs were simply moved to other states that require Boeing to “create” jobs in order to receive even more tax breaks.

Since the $8.7 billion tax break was signed into law on Nov. 9, 2013, Boeing has eliminated the jobs of 5,624 Washington state residents. At the same time, employment in Oklahoma and South Carolina – both states that have job “creation” requirements tied to their aerospace tax breaks – is on the rise.

The job losses in Washington will only get worse this year, Holden warned, given that Boeing has confirmed plans to slash the jobs of another 4,500 Washington state residents in order to increase profitability.

“We’ve given Boeing the largest corporate tax incentives in U.S. history, but without any job requirements, all we’ve done is create incentives for Boeing to take away both our jobs and our tax dollars,” Holden said. “It is past time for our elected leaders in Olympia to enact aerospace tax incentive accountability standards.

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