A huge economic development package to entice a Canadian plane manufacturer to locate at Kansas City International Airport has passed the House. HCS HB 2393 now moves to the Senate, where a similar package has stalled.
Rep. Ron Richard (R-Joplin), chairman of the House Job Creation and Economic Development Committee, told colleagues it’s important for Missouri to make a strong bid for the $375 million Bombardier Aerospace manufacturing plant. Richard also tried to dispel what he sees as myths surrounding the incentive package. He noted that critics have called it an $800 million, plus package. Richard said the deal being negotiated by the Department of Economic Development could reach $450 million and has a provision for Bombardier to pay back the tax credits.
Bombardier’s factory is expected to ultimately create 2,100 high-paying jobs. The average annual salary is estimated at $55,000. Missouri is attempting to lure the plan away from Canada. Bombardier is based in Montreal. State economic development officials say the vast amount of undeveloped land at KCI and the weakness of the dollar have made locating in Kansas City attractive.
The incentive package has become very controversial in the Senate. In the House, it has breezed to final passage on a 125-16 vote. The opponents have expressed concerns about the size of the financial incentive package and skepticism about the economic benefits proponents say the state would reap.