By Steve Bell
Kansas City, MO – Action was swift in the Missouri General Assembly during discussions of a $375 million passenger jet assembly plant being considered for Kansas City by Montreal-based Bombardier Aerospace. Part of the deal would be state tax credits on up to 80 percent of payroll for the first three years, tapering off over 22 years.
House sponsor Ron Richards of Joplin says Bombardier would repay the credits, with interest, by paying a tax on each airplane it produces. Richards called the mega-projects tax deal a win-win situation. According to Richards, "The economic impact is several hundred million dollars. The jobs: 2,000 over the time of the aircraft, three or four hundred right away, I think probably with other models and other ancillary projects, probably as much as 8,000 total jobs with vendors and everybody else."
Senate majority leader Charlie Shields of St. Joseph co-sponsored the legislation to give Bombardier tax breaks as an incentive.
The House and Senate bills had their first committee hearing Wednesday, and could be scheduled for debate as early as next week. The other city in the running for the Bombardier plant is Montreal, Canada.