Aircraft repair industry could receive tax breaks in exchange for family wage jobs

The Washington State House of Representatives convenes for floor debate February 11th, the 32nd day of the 2016 legislative session.
Rep. Larry Springer

OLYMPIA – In an effort to attract aircraft repair and maintenance companies to Washington, the state House today approved legislation to extend tax exemptions for new repair facility construction. The tax breaks, a refund of the state portion of sales and use tax, would only be applied if certain employment metrics are met.

HB 2839, sponsored by Rep. Larry Springer (D-Kirkland) would require the state to refund the state sales and use tax if the operator reports at least 100 new employment positions over the four year period after the building is operational, with an average annual salary of $80,000. The state tax refund would occur no earlier than 2021.

“Aircraft construction, repair and maintenance is part of Washington’s history,” said Springer. “Providing these tax incentives ensures that the industry is part of Washington’s present and future.”

Washington is competing with other Pacific Northwest states to host aircraft repair service centers. Supporters of HB 2839 cite the need for tax incentives in order to successfully compete with other states. Repair companies have indicated their intent to operate here in Washington upon receiving the tax incentives contained in the legislation. The jobs produced would be between 75 and 135, and these are family-wage jobs with salaries between $75,000 and $120,000 a year.

“The accountability is critical,” said Springer. “Providing these tax incentives if, and only if, a company meets the employment criteria is a smart investment.”

HB 2839 passed the House on a 84-13 vote, and has been referred to the state Senate for further consideration.