Business News for Bellevue and the Eastside of Lake Washington

AWB Statement on Benefits of Aerospace in Washington

The Association of Washington Business, Washington state’s largest business organization representing small, medium and large employers, issued the following statement from AWB President Kris Johnson regarding the Legislature’s attempt, through yesterday’s introduction of House Bill 2147, to erode the state’s competitiveness by reducing successful incentives for aerospace companies:

“Washington state is an aerospace hub for hundreds of employers who employ thousands people, who supply parts and innovate to make the sector successful and make Washington a great place to live.

“The fact is, aerospace incentives provide a significant return to Washington’s taxpayers. According to the state’s own estimate, the 2013 incentives will generate more than $21.3 billion in state and local tax revenue over 16 years —nearly three dollars in increased revenue for each dollar of incentives. This money will pay for vital public services including education, social services and infrastructure.

“Threatening to reduce the incentives is counterintuitive to the one sure-fire way to improve the state’s budget situation – get people back to work. These incentives not only encourage job growth in the aerospace industry, but they boost the whole economy.

“While it may be popular to focus on Boeing, hundreds of companies take advantage of the aerospace tax incentive, or other tax preferences, approved by the Legislature and signed by the governor. Reducing incentives sends the wrong message to current and potential employers about Washington’s business climate and severely harms the state’s competitiveness.

“AWB has a long history of advocating for job creation as a way to uplift communities and make the economy strong in every corner of the state. Unfortunately, this measure would do just the opposite. I urge the Legislature to put Washington’s competitive advantages above the fray. The many workers in all job sectors who depend on a strong aerospace industry need certainty that the jobs they have today will be heretomorrow.”

About the Association of Washington Business

Formed in 1904, the Association of Washington Business is Washington’s oldest and largest statewide business association, and includes more than 8,200 members representing 700,000 employees. AWB serves as both the state’s chamber of commerce and the manufacturing and technology association. While its membership includes major employers like Boeing, Microsoft and Weyerhaeuser, 90 percent of AWB members employ fewer than 100 people. More than half of AWB’s members employ fewer than 10. For more about AWB, visit www.awb.org.

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