News: CJ Exclusives

Boeing Offer Was At least $93M

State's effort to woo plant to GTP fell short, but records aren't yet public

North Carolina offered Boeing at least $93 million in incentives to build the aircraft company’s proposed 7E7 Dreamliner at the Global TransPark in Kinston, a state Commerce Department official said Friday.

The incentives, offered under the William S. Lee economic development act, included estimated tax credits of $65 million and $28 million for a job development investment grant, said Linda Weiner, the department’s assistant secretary for community affairs and public relations. The grant carried a requirement that Boeing provide 1,200 jobs if the company built its plant at Kinston.

The package also included assistance with recruitment for the 1,200 jobs. Other incentives offered to Boeing were assistance with “flight infrastructure,” such as rails and roads, and lease of a building at the GTP. Other services at the GTP, such as the educational training center already in place, were offered as incentives, Weiner said.

Weiner said other “confidential” incentives were offered, but she would not disclose what they were. When asked by a reporter when the information would be released, Weiner said she could not make it available “probably for several weeks” because of the amount of confidential information that must be excluded and delays caused by the onset of the holidays.

North Carolina’s Public Records Law (Section 132-9b) allows a government agency to withhold “public records relating to the proposed expansion or location of particular businesses and industrial projects….” However, the agency may withhold the information only until “disclosure would frustrate the purpose of attracting that particular business or industrial project.”

Boeing’s Board of Directors decided Tuesday that the company would build the aircraft at a plant in Everett, Wash., which is the headquarters of Dreamliner and other Boeing operations. The GTP reportedly finished second in the running for the plant, after several states and cities launched furious campaigns to attract the company to their areas.

Richard Wagner is the editor of Carolina Journal.