Business and labor interests don’t care how it’s paid for–they just want the legislature to pass a bill in the next few days giving tax breaks to Ford although Ford has made no public commitments to keep an automobile line there.
Ford will not continue building Escape SUVs at Claycomo past the fall of 2011. New generation Escapes will be built in Kentucky. Unless Ford starts producing a new vehicle there, the only thing happening at Claycomo will be one shift of workers building F-150 pickups.
State officials think Ford can be convinced to build a new line of vehicles of some kind at Claycomo if it gets ten years of tax breaks. Auto workers local president Jeff Wright says Ford has indicated but not confirmed that it will.
The proposal floating around now would finance the tax breaks by making new state employees contribute to their pension plans, reducing the state’s contribution. The lobbying coalition refuses to say if that’s a proper way to finance what it wants.