Missouri puts in bid for new Boeing plant

Friday, July 11, 2003

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City and St. Joseph submitted bids to land Boeing Co.'s new 7E7 jetliner assembly plant, a state official said Thursday.

Jim Grebing, communications director for the State Department of Economic Development, said proposals from Kansas City and St. Joseph were sent to Boeing last month. He said other proposals were submitted by at least 18 other states, including Washington state, where Boeing was founded in 1916.

But it will be months before Boeing even decides whether to go ahead with the 7E7, a mid-sized, fuel-efficient jetliner that would be its first all-new jet since the 777 entered service in 1995.

The company, hit by the downturn in the airline industry, has cut about 34,000 jobs since December 2001. The 7E7 plant would mean about 1,200 jobs, Grebing said.

Grebing said he could not detail what sort of incentives Missouri offered.

"But we feel like it's a competitive package, and we hope we'll continue to talk to Boeing and make the short list."

Boeing would get a $3.2 billion, 20-year tax incentive package if it builds the 7E7 in Washington. The Legislature there also approved lower rates for unemployment and workers' compensation coverage and jacked up the state gas tax by a nickel a gallon to pay for a $4.2 billion transportation plan Boeing strongly pushed.

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