California to bid for Boeing project

12/09/2013 5:03 PM

12/10/2013 7:39 AM

California will be among states submitting bids to Boeing this week in an effort to land a production facility for the company’s newest commercial jetliner.

An official for Gov. Jerry Brown’s Office of Business and Economic Development, or GO-Biz, confirmed Monday that California will submit a proposal to Boeing ahead of the company’s deadline today for states seeking to host production of the 777X.

GO-Biz declined to say what incentives, if any, are included in the proposal, though Brown has significant latitude to negotiate.

In a controversial restructuring of California’s enterprise zone program of tax credits for hiring, the Legislature afforded Brown about $30million this budget year for tax credits to be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

The credits, administered under a newly formed California Competes Tax Committee, can increase to $150million next budget year and $200million in subsequent years.

The legislation, Assembly Bill93, also provided a sales tax exemption for manufacturing and biotech research companies. The value of the exemption is potentially significant, since it’s applicable to up to $200million in purchases annually.

Boeing is searching for another site to build the 777X after becoming mired in a labor dispute in Washington state. The aerospace giant has billed the plane as its largest and most fuel-efficient commercial aircraft.

The potential of luring Boeing is of significant interest in Long Beach, where the company produces its C-17 military plane.

The company announced in September that it will stop producing the C-17 in 2015 and close its Long Beach facility.

Boeing employs about 20,000 people in California.

The company said it employs more than 3,000 people on the C-17 production program in Long Beach, Georgia, Arizona and Missouri.

Boeing spokesman Doug Alder said the company expects to make a decision by early next year, but he declined to be more specific or to say how many states are competing. He said the company has sent proposals “to more than a dozen locations.”

Alder said a final decision could involve the selection of several sites, not just one.

The end of the C-17 production is “perfectly timed” to Boeing’s search for a facility to produce the 777X, said Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, D-Torrance, chairman of the Assembly Select Committee on Aerospace. He said Long Beach offers Boeing an experienced workforce.

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