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Washington Offers Boeing $3B Package

June 19, 2003

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) _ Washington state is rolling out a $3 billion welcome mat for Boeing Co.

Gov. Gary Locke, surrounded by legislators, business and civic leaders and aerospace union officials, signed a hefty package of tax breaks Wednesday for the state’s entire aerospace industry _ contingent on Boeing building its new 7E7 ``Dreamliner″ jet in the state.

The package includes a 40 percent cut in business taxes, sales taxes, research and development tax credits and lower property taxes. The phased-in breaks are worth about $400 million over the next six years and potentially an estimated $3.2 billion over 20 years.

Boeing has set a Friday deadline for states to submit their 7E7 bids. Fourteen states are competing and it will be months before Boeing actually decides whether to proceed with the company’s first all-new jet since the 777, which entered service in June 1995.

Washington’s tax package, rushed through the Legislature last week as a last-minute sweetener to the state’s bid, is a key feature of the state’s sales pitch to keep Boeing assembly work here, the governor said.

``We’re putting our state’s best foot forward,″ said state trade Director Martha Choe.

Locke and Choe said they’re optimistic that a Washington site will be selected _ either in Everett, where the company already assembles jets in the world’s largest manufacturing facility, or in Moses Lake in eastern Washington, where the company owns land at a former Air Force base.


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