Washington goes extra mile plus to woo Boeing

Posted: Monday, June 23, 2003

So, did Boeing get too much? That's a little like asking whether you paid too much for your house you'll never really know how low the seller was willing to go.

If Boeing decides to take Washington up on its generous offer of tax breaks and build the 7E7 here, it will have gotten a lot. A whole lot.

Indications are that even the jaws of Boeing officials dropped last week when Gov. Gary Locke unveiled his plan to offer the company and other aerospace employers $3.2 billion in tax breaks over 20 years if the 7E7 is built in Everett or Moses Lake, a plan that lawmakers passed overwhelmingly. ...

If Boeing declines this offer, which comes on top of reforms to the state's costly unemployment insurance and injured workers' compensation systems, it will be safe to assume Washington was never really in the running for the 7E7. With this package, the state has given Boeing everything it asked for on its list of criteria for a 7E7 site. ...

Locke deserves high marks for leadership in making sure these fundamental priorities stayed on the front burner. As for the Boeing tax breaks, Locke insists they will pencil out, leaving the state with more revenue than it would have if Boeing and its suppliers went elsewhere. ... The governor and lawmakers have done what they can perhaps more than they had to to make Boeing happy. They've also taken overdue steps to reverse the state's business-hostile reputation. No matter what Boeing decides, that needs to continue.

The Herald, Everett, Wash.

June 15

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