The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Top Stories

December 6, 2013

Boeing deal takes flight; most area lawmakers support incentive deal for new Boeing plant

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Southwest Missouri legislators almost unanimously endorsed an economic incentive package this week that is aimed at luring Boeing Co. to the state to build its 777X commercial jetliner.

The bill passed the House by a vote of 127-20 on Friday, and follows Senate approval on Wednesday.

State Rep. Bill White, R-Joplin, was the bill’s lone dissenter from the Joplin area. White — who often opposes tax credit expansions — said he has concerns with the state providing special treatment to individual companies.

The proposed incentives would come from an expansion of four existing state programs that base the amount of aid on the number of jobs businesses add. The incentives could be worth between $435 million and $1.74 billion by 2040, depending on how many jobs Boeing creates in the state.

“I would do economic development ... in a different way than giving one company tax credits,” White said.

White also said he is concerned that as the state’s expenses grow, reduced revenue from companies taking advantage of tax credits could put other programs in jeopardy.

“We do have a balanced budget requirement and we have to work at that,” he said Friday. “The more we do tax credits in general, that’s money we’re not able to allocate in the normal budget process for education or anything we do.”

Other area lawmakers — Reps. Charlie Davis, R-Webb City; Mike Kelley, R-Lamar; Bill Lant, R-Pineville; and Bill Reiboldt, R-Neosho — all voted in favor of the package on Friday, when lawmakers ended the special session that had been called by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon.

Davis said Missouri has nothing to lose by offering the tax incentives to Boeing, because the money the state would lose if Boeing chooses Missouri is money the state wouldn’t receive otherwise.

“If you look at these tax credits, they’re going to go for new jobs,” he said. “If those jobs don’t come here, we’re not going to lose any revenue.”

State Sen. Ron Richard, R-Joplin, also supported the incentives during a vote Wednesday. The Senate passed the measure 23-8.

The bill now heads to Nixon’s desk; he is expected to sign it.

Boeing has requested proposals from more than a dozen states. They are due on Tuesday. After that, it is all up to Boeing. The company is expected to decide on a location by mid-January.

Nixon praised the quick bipartisan passage of the legislation and said the incentives will put Missouri “in a very strong position to compete.”

Among those rallying support for the legislation was state Rep. Doug Funderburk, R-St. Peters, a longtime electrician for Boeing who asserted the incentives posed no conflict of interest for him because he plans to retire in a few years. Another Boeing employee, Rep. Clem Smith, D-Velda Village Hills, didn’t vote on the legislation. Smith, a machinist on Boeing’s F-18, said it would have been a conflict of interest, “because this could ultimately benefit my pocketbook.”

Critics of the incentives largely kept quiet Friday. One lawmaker said he was filing a written objection asserting the bill violated the state constitution by directing taxpayer dollars to a private business. Others, like White, opposed the measure because it was tailored for a single corporation.

“Just because you’re big, doesn’t mean you should get to pay a lower tax rate than the hard-working small business owner,” said state Rep. Stephen Webber, D-Columbia.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

1
Text Only
Top Stories
  • r042314psumove2.jpg SLIDE SHOW: Moving day for biology and chemistry building at Pittsburg State

    They didn’t all go two-by-two, and the person in charge wasn’t named Noah, but nonetheless, critters of all shapes and sizes were on the move Wednesday. Students, volunteers and staff members helped Delia Lister, director of Nature Reach, relocate everything from a pair of prairie dogs to a vocal macaw named Charlie so that Heckert-Wells Hall — the biology and chemistry building where they are housed on the campus of Pittsburg State University — can undergo a $4.4 million transformation in the coming months.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos 1 Slideshow

  • 3M plant expansion to create 22 jobs

    An $18.7 million expansion at the 3M Co. manufacturing plant in Nevada will create 22 new jobs, a company official said Wednesday. “We started 43 years ago as a small manufacturer,” said Todd Cantrell, plant manager, in a meeting with employees. “We are now the largest 3M plant in the state of Missouri and one of the largest of all 3M plants.”

    April 23, 2014

  • Respond With Love flower.jpg Joplin pays it forward with flowers; residents asked to return bulbs ‘fostered’ for other towns

    Suzan Morang’s front yard bloomed brightly last year from a colorful array of bulbs that she will happily pass on to someone else this year. Morang, 1207 Xenia Court, is a participant in America Responds With Love, a national nonprofit organization that distributes bulbs to disaster-stricken cities.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Missouri lawmakers file three resolutions calling for impeaching governor

    While Gov. Jay Nixon was in Nevada, Mo., on Wednesday, a Missouri House panel led by Republicans began hearing arguments on three measures calling for impeaching him. Nixon has downplayed the proceedings as a legislative “publicity stunt.” One resolution, sponsored by Rep. Mike Moon, R-Ash Grove, is critical of Nixon for waiting several months to call special elections to fill three vacated House seats.

    April 23, 2014

  • 3 To Get Ready

    Three things coming your way in Thursday’s Joplin Globe.

    April 23, 2014

  • Nixon: Tax-cut bill holds fatal flaw; area lawmakers say stance totally false

    Another year has brought yet another tax-cut fight between Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon and the Republican-led Missouri General Assembly, and on Tuesday, Nixon announced that he had found what he sees as a fatal flaw.

    April 22, 2014

  • NEO_Big_Event - Bright.jpg NEO students step up for Big Event

    Leann Hartman has a 30-foot ditch filled with leaves that she has to clean out every spring. For the retired schoolteacher, this usually means paying a company to clean it for her, only to have to do it again the following year.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 3 To Get Ready

    Three things coming your way in Wednesday’s Joplin Globe.

    April 22, 2014

  • r042214earthday.jpg Local group launches clean air plan on Earth Day

    It was an Earth Day first for Stephany Aquinaga, a pre-med student and member of the biology club at Missouri Southern State University. “This is the first time I have ever planted a tree,” she said.

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Neosho teachers express support for Common Core State Standards

    Neosho teachers on Monday voiced their full support for Common Core State Standards. They made their statements to board members during the Neosho Board of Education meeting as an agenda item.

    April 22, 2014