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Gregoire signs bill to help mystery company important to Tacoma and Pierce County

Post by Joe Turner on March 14, 2008 at 4:40 pm with No Comments »
March 14, 2008 4:40 pm

We challenge you to find the name of the company that might get a tax break for building its new headquarters in downtown Tacoma (or on the Hilltop) in the news release put out by the Gov. Chris Gregoire‘s office.

Maybe someone besides Russell Investments is looking to build a new $30 million headquarters building downtown.

Ya think maybe Boeing is looking to move its HQ from Chi-Town to T-Town? Nah!

Gov. Gregoire signs bill to drive economic development

TACOMA – Gov. Chris Gregoire today signed Senate Bill 6626 at the Economic Development Board of Tacoma-Pierce County’s annual business luncheon. The bill creates incentives for businesses to build or lease corporate headquarters in community empowerment zones throughout the state.

"This tax-break bill is important for Tacoma and for Pierce County," Gregoire said. "It is another economic development tool to continue this city’s amazing renaissance. These incentives can draw more high-paying, high-demand, professional jobs into Washington state."

The bill provides businesses an exemption from the sales and use tax for construction of their corporate headquarters in one of the CEZs in the state. The bill also specifies that the business must invest at least $30 million in that corporate headquarters and that the facility would need to employ at least 300 people making the average wage or better in Washington.

"My top priority in Olympia has been the growth of more good jobs in our region. This bill makes us more competitive by giving more cities such as Bremerton and Tacoma additional tools to recruit and retain the major employers that can serve as cornerstones of economic development in areas that need it the most," said Sen. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, the bill’s sponsor. "Several of the states with which we compete have similar incentives. This bill can be a critical tool for more jobs in our area."

Community empowerment zones include areas of Tacoma, Spokane, Seattle, Yakima, Bremerton and White Center.

"This legislation will help ensure that Tacoma and the other five cities that have community empowerment zones in our state will have the tools we need to continue growing," said Tacoma Mayor Bill Baarsma. "Tacoma needs these kinds of economic development tools to encourage business growth and retention, and to create a thriving downtown."

"The EDB of Tacoma-Pierce County is thrilled to have Governor Gregoire sign Senate Bill 6626 today. It gives another tool in the toolbox for Tacoma to become a more competitive place for locating national and international companies’ headquarters," said Bruce Kendall, president and CEO of the Economic Development Board of Tacoma-Pierce County. "It is a very competitive climate for recruitment of these family-wage jobs; the governor and Pierce County delegations’ leadership has been incredible."

In her remarks to the group, Gregoire also noted that the supplemental budget passed by the Legislature includes $40 million for the rehabilitation of the Murray Morgan Bridge in downtown Tacoma.

"The Legislature provided a substantial down payment, and a path forward, to restore the Murray Morgan Bridge. The bridge is an important lifeline for emergency responders to the port and an icon in the great history of this great city," Gregoire said.

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