Print This Story Print This Story Email This Story Email This Story

SC Policy Council: State still paying for landing Boeing

Last week state officials saw the completion of framework of Boeing’s new jetliner plant in North Charleston. State Senate President Pro Tem Glenn McConnell calls landing Boeing a game-changer for South Carolina.

It’s working together. That’s where this project started and that’s where this projects going to finish. And I hope that we and Boeing have a long future and we’re out here in the future breaking ground in the future on other Boeing projects.

But the self-named taxpayer think tank, the South Carolina Policy Council, says incentives given to Boeing makes the game unfair in the use of state tax money.

Ashleigh Landess is policy council president says it is…

… a lot of state and local money and we still don’t know the full scope of it. I’m glad Boeing is here. We’re glad industry chooses South Carolina. But the problem is, in writing them a check to come here, we are putting money that belongs to independent businesses, to individuals and families. We’re really taking their capital without getting their approval without any real full debate …

The Policy Council, a privately-funded watchdog group, continues to take issue with the almost $900 million in projected breaks and incentives the company will get for coming here. Landess says there is a problem with a handful of legislative leaders making the biggest decisions for the state.

The legislature as a whole was unaware of the details. Millions of dollars of our money invested in a company that, like all companies has some struggles. Is that the right way to compete. The answer is clearly not. This incentive deal stuff has failed in South Carolina. We’ve been doing this for 20 years and we still have one of the highest unemployment rates in the country and one of the lowest per ca pita incomes.

Landess says the state must be fair to its business citizens.

If tax incentives are good for one company, why aren’t they good for existing businesses and why wouldn’t they be good across the board? So, we don’t want to raise Boeing’s tax burden, we want to lower every ones. That’s the way to be competitive. But we can’t have public money put into private companies. Simply, we shouldn’t do that at all. And if we’re going to, there needs to be some very clear guidelines and a lot more transparency.

Ashley Landess is president of the South Carolina Policy Council, a fiscally-conservative organization that has joined forces at times with the Tea Party and environmental groups on government policy issues.

Comments are closed.