JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Missouri senators passed legislation Wednesday offering up to $1.7 billion of incentives over two decades for Boeing to assemble a commercial airplane in St. Louis.
The Senate’s 23-8 vote in a special session sends the measure to the House with just a few days remaining before what Gov. Jay Nixon has said is a Tuesday deadline to submit a proposal to Boeing.
Missouri is one of more than a dozen locations invited by Boeing to bid on assembling all or part of the new 777X airplane.
Most other states are crafting their proposals privately. But Nixon called a special session because he wanted to offer more incentives than currently allowed under state law.
Under Missouri’s plan, the amount of incentives Boeing gets would depend on the number of jobs created.
“These are high quality, good-paying jobs that are around for a very long time,” said Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale, who sponsored the legislation. “These are the kind of jobs you want for your state.”
Supporters of the incentive package say Missouri could gain 8,000 additional Boeing jobs if it chooses to assemble the new commercial airplane in Missouri, and 2,000 to 3,000 jobs if Boeing decides to build only the airplane wing in St. Louis. Thousands of additional employees could be added at businesses that supply parts to Boeing.
Boeing could get an aggregate of about $435 million of incentives by 2040 if it adds 2,000 jobs in Missouri and up to $1.74 billion if it adds about 8,000 jobs, according to an analysis released Tuesday by Nixon’s administration.
The company also could receive a still unspecified amount of aid from local St. Louis area governments.
Some of the senators who voted against the plan questioned the wisdom of tailoring tax breaks for a specific company instead of cutting taxes for all businesses or individuals. Nixon vetoed a broad-based income tax cut earlier this year.
“This public policy is not healthy for the long-term economic prosperity of Missouri,” said Sen. Brad Lager, R-Savannah.
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