The Palmetto Insider

The blog of the South Carolina Policy Council

Charleston County Council Approves Boeing Incentives in Secret

with one comment

Proving that state legislators aren’t the only politicians who ignore transparency when it suits their purposes, Charleston County Council approved a preliminary economic development incentives package for Boeing Tuesday night, but declined to reveal details.

“Without discussion and after an executive session, council quickly approved a motion related to Boeing incentives,” according to the Charleston Post and Courier. “It includes a fee in lieu of taxes for Boeing as well as a special-source revenue bond issue for infrastructure improvements, officials said. When asked the amount of the fee, officials would not comment.”

Given that the legislature late last month granted Boeing up to $450 million in incentives in a deal struck behind closed doors, perhaps it’s not surprising that Charleston County officials are employing a similar tactic.

While Boeing’s decision to build a 787 Dreamliner assembly plant in South Carolina is good news, it’s distressing that lawmakers have opted for secrecy over transparency.

Because there was no substantive economic analysis presented to lawmakers or the public beforehand, there’s no way to determine the short- or long-term cost to taxpayers, or impact on business or unemployment in the state.

Charleston County Councilman Elliott Summey told the Post and Courier that he could not discuss specifics but said that what the council approved was nothing out of the ordinary because it does the same sort of thing for other businesses.

Summey added that the deal was “not atypical in any way” and that Boeing was not getting anything extraordinary. “If I say too much, it becomes a problem,” he added.

Another councilman, Dickie Schweers, declined comment because of ongoing negotiations.

Because South Carolina taxpayers are the who ones who will be picking up the tab for Boeing’s incentives, it only seems fair that these same South Carolina taxpayers have some idea of what it is they’re being saddled with before the deal is inked.

Lawmakers, both at the state and local level, seem to feel differently.

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Written by Cotton Boll Conspiracy

November 18, 2009 at 10:53 am

One Response

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  1. […] South Carolina taxpayers are the who ones who will be picking up the tab for Boeing’s incentives, it only seems fair that these same South Carolina taxpayers have some idea of what it is they’re being saddled with […]


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