Kansas joins Boeing contest as states make their moves

Kansas joins Boeing contest as states make their moves

Credit: KING

Kansas joins Boeing contest as states make their moves

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by Associated Press and KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on December 4, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 4 at 8:08 PM

TOPEKA, Kan.  -- Kansas is assembling an economic incentive package geared at landing a new Boeing contract to build the aviation giant's 777X commercial aircraft.

Administration officials say Wednesday they can't divulge details of the Kansas package, citing a nondisclosure agreement signed with Boeing when talks began in recent weeks.

Gov. Sam Brownback has said that Kansas would make a run at landing the contract, which could result in between 7,000 and 10,000 new aviation jobs in the Wichita area.

Unlike Missouri, where legislators are meeting to approve a financial package, Kansas is relying on existing economic incentive programs related to job training, workforce development and provisions that could allow the expensing of new equipment purchases over several years.

Missouri senators are debating legislation that could award up to $1.7 billion of incentives over two decades to Boeing to build a commercial airplane in St. Louis.

The Senate opened debate Wednesday on the incentives as they met in a special session called by Gov. Jay Nixon.

Boeing already employs about 15,000 people in Missouri and builds military aircraft in St. Louis.

If Boeing chooses Missouri for the commercial plane, it could mean an additional 8,000 jobs. If it decides to assemble only the airplane wing in Missouri, supporters said that could result in 2,000 to 3,000 jobs.

Opponents are raising concerns about tailoring tax breaks for a specific company.

Officials in Wisconsin also announced Wednesday that the state is developing a proposal to land Boeing. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation said in a statement that Wisconsin was not one of the states that Boeing approached, but still plans present a proposal soon.

More than 140 Wisconsin suppliers already work with Boeing.

Alabama faces a Dec. 10 deadline to respond to Boeing’s request for proposals.

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle has said the community is among several cities being considered for a 777X assembly site.

Boeing already owns about 300 acres at the Huntsville International Airport and the site is large enough to accommodate the needed 1 million square feet of production space, AL.com reported.

Alabama earlier landed an Airbus plant in Mobile with an incentive package worth about $158.5 million.

Boeing executives say a decision on a manufacturing location could come by early next year, and Battle said Huntsville could be a good choice since the city is an aeronautical hub and home to engineers who worked on other Boeing aircraft.

Story compiled from multiple Associated Press reports

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