Sunday, December 15, 2013

Pence Confirms That Indiana Is Among 15 States Bidding To Land $10 Billion Boeing Plant

The Northwest Indiana Times' Dan Carden received confirmation from Gov. Mike Pence on our earlier speculation based on an "Indiana Legislative Insight" item about a rumored big economic development project in the works that Indiana is quietly competing with many other states to land a $10 billion proposed Boeing plant that would build the aviation company's new 400-seat, 777X plane and a site near the Gary airport is the preferred location. "We have had contact with them and discussions, but I won't comment further on those," Pence said. "I will tell you, every opportunity that we are given to tell Indiana's story and make the case for Indiana — we do." State Rep. Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso), a retired airline pilot, makes the case for the Northwest Indiana site.
State Rep. Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso, chairman of the House Transportation Committee, said Indiana is the most logical place for Boeing to build the plane, given the state's strong manufacturing workforce and Purdue University's aeronautics programs — and Northwest Indiana boasts all the road, rail, port and airport connections Boeing is seeking.
"I'm enthused about what it could do for the Northwest Indiana economy, and I'm hoping we're the ones in consideration, because I think it could be great for us," Soliday said. "I could build you a good case for a Gary-area location."
Soliday, a pilot and former United Airlines executive, said the soon-to-be completed 8,900-foot runway at Gary/Chicago International Airport, which is already home to Boeing's Midwest corporate jet fleet, "is as good as 9,000."
Indianapolis, Terre Haute and Fort Wayne all have airport runways exceeding 9,000 feet, though none have the same road, rail and port connections as Northwest Indiana.


Anonymous said...

I've always thought that the Chicago-Gary airport is a natural third airport for Chicago. The road a rail connections are already there, and I would think (I have some reasons for this) that the Indy-Chicago rail line could be diverted to pass by that airport. While the Jackson family was powerful in Illinois, there was pressure for an airport at Peotone (which is bitterly opposed by the residents there; the proposed Illiana expressway would connect with it). NW Indiana is strong union territory, which in the present environment will count against it. There must be lots of land near the Gary airport which could be developed.

guy77money said...

Indiana needs this plant! Lets hope Pence pulls out all the big guns including Mitch!!!!

Anonymous said...

Sure was nice for Mitch to close Cline Ave. in NWI to funnel business to the Toll Road. Having that road reopened would certainly help Indiana's case.

Indy Rob said...

I think that dealing with Boeing will turn out so much worse than Indianapolis's deal with United.

The Chicago tribune has an article today that mentions a few of Boeing demands. Pence and his administration are all too willing to pimp out the Indiana residents to get Boeing to come to the state.

From the chicago tribune article by Phil Rosenthal.

" But the request for proposal on Boeing's 777X is an incentive package on rocket fuel.

The company wants its land and facility free or at deeply discounted prices. According to reports in The Seattle Times and elsewhere, Boeing also wants the locals to pick up the tab for whatever infrastructure improvements are needed and a subsidy for the costs of hiring and training new employees.

It wants breaks on whatever corporate income tax, franchise tax, property tax, sales/use tax, business license/gross receipts tax and excise taxes it might otherwise face. It wants assurances there won't be any delays for permits or environmental impact reports. Capping its utility prices and not springing any new regulations on the company would be really helpful, too."

Sounds like a really good deal for the Indiana powers to be, not so much for the Indiana residents. Pence has to know that there really is not such a thing as a tax cut , to quote Mr. Rosenthal, "... there's no such thing as a tax cut. It's just a tax shift to everyone else...."

Jeff Cox said...

Right, Indy Rob. Who cares about hundreds if not thousands of new high-paying jobs if someone is getting a tax break for bringing them. SMH.

Indy Rob said...

Jeff, if they truly are high paying jobs for lots of Hoosiers, I would be foolish to argue against Boeing coming here, but what I am seeing is that for a relatively small number of jobs in a right-to-work state (IE a state that is actively anti-union) is yet another company refusing to pay its share of business taxes while demanding that the state's other taxpayers pay for the required infrastructure and services.

The devil is in the details.

Jeff Cox said...

Indy Rob, the vast majority of jobs in the aerospace industry are high paying because of education and training requirements. Therefore until shown otherwise, the assumption must be that these are high-paying jobs. I'm as pro-union as anyone and I hate right-to-work, but more than anything else Indiana needs high-paying jobs. You can't turn your nose up at it because someone might be making money off of it.