Boeing's incentive in the Tulsa 'Vision' package

Monday, July 7th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The biggest ticket item in the proposed Tulsa ‘Vision’ plan by far is Boeing, with a $350-million incentive package for the aircraft-maker, if they decide to locate their upcoming 7E7 assembly plant in Tulsa.

News on 6 business reporter Steve Berg says of course the key word is "if". Boeing hasn't decided yet where they're going to build. So what are we voting on people wonder? Here's part of the answer. Which comes first, the chicken or the egg, or in other words, which comes first? The incentive or the plant?

Tulsa County Fiscal Officer Wayne Carr says there have been occasions in the past where we've passed incentives for a company before the company had even made up its mind where to build. "We've passed a couple of taxes on speculation. The Whirlpool tax came about with the Whirlpool plant and I think it's paid off for Tulsa, not a question about it."

In the case of Boeing, voters will be asked to provide $350-million total. $250-million of that will be in the form of a loan that Boeing will pay back to the county starting in 10-years. And $100-million will reportedly go toward a Research and Development building.

But what happens if this chicken flies the coop? Officials say the deal with Boeing will have language that if they leave Tulsa sooner than expected, they will pay the money back. “It wouldn't surprise me for it to be phrased, if you choose to leave within a designated time frame, you will pay back the money that was granted to you."

And some may wonder what happens if Boeing never comes here in the first place. If they don't, then the 40% for Boeing will not be collected, and the penny sales tax essentially becomes the 6 tenths of a cent tax.

If they decide to go somewhere else, then that tax will never exist.