(The Center Square) – After the St. Louis County Council approved $155 million in tax breaks for a planned $2 billion expansion by Boeing, eyes turned to Jefferson City to see what subsidies the State would grant.
“To have even a chance of getting this major expansion done, the city, county and state had to make some economic concessions,” Democratic Councilwoman Lisa Clancy said before joining three members to vote in favor of the tax break earlier this week. Democratic Councilwoman Kelli Dunaway cast the lone vote against the plan.
“We thank the members of the St. Louis County Council for their decision, leadership and partnership to expand the footprint of the St. Louis region’s aerospace industry,” a Boeing spokesperson wrote in an email to The Center Square. “This vote will help us deliver cost-competitive proposals, marking the first step toward creating more good-paying jobs in the Greater St. Louis region.” We look forward to continuing to work with our collaborating partners on the next steps of this project.
Republican Gov. Mike Parson said in August St. Louis Post-Dispatch the State was in contact with Boeing.
“We’ll see where this all goes,” Parson said. “It’s quite early.”
Boeing plans to expand its manufacturing operations to better compete for U.S. Department of Defense contracts.
“From what I understand and as the governor has discussed, the state is still willing to consider incentive options for the expansion of Boeing, our state’s largest manufacturing employer, but nothing has not been formally agreed upon,” wrote Johnathan Shiflett, the governor’s press secretary. an email to The Center Square.
Shiflett reached out to the Missouri Department of Economic Development for possible additional information.
“The department does not comment on active projects,” Amy Berendzen, communications director for the Department of Economic Development, wrote in an email to The Center Square.
Two years ago, Boeing announced that it build a facility to make a refueling drone for the Navy at MidAmerica Airport, a facility located about 40 miles east of Boeing’s operations in St. Louis. Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced $57 million in public investments and $8.7 million in tax relief at the time, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
“I think it’s these types of incentives that have turned this country and the world we live in into a game that’s played against the working families we’re trying to protect,” Dunaway said before casting her vote. “And I hear Boeing say, ‘We’ve invested in the community.’ We gave $13 million last year to charity. But that’s not even 10% of what they’re asking us to give them and it’s just not enough for me.