Boeing recently announced they’re investing another $1 billion in South Carolina for their North Charleston manufacturing complex. They have estimated it will create 2,000 new jobs over the next eight years. This is exciting news for South Carolina.
When large companies consider where they want to expand, they take into consideration what incentives states will offer them. States want large businesses to invest in their region because of projected job creation and potential capital investment. However, the costs and sacrifices South Carolina will have to make in the process cannot be disregarded or overlooked in comparison.
Giving two speeches during on the floor, I stated that as much as I believe the Boeing expansion will benefit the state, I could not support the state’s plan to issue bonds to pay for the incentives. $120 million is being offered for upfront expansion costs such as utilities and site preparation and other infrastructure. I complained that legislators were piling up more debt that future generations will have to repay, as if they were trying to catch up with Washington.
Incentive bills were introduced in both the state House and Senate here in Columbia. Senator Tom Davis (R-Beaufort) and I took the floor during session to voice our concerns. Republican Senators Lee Bright (R-Spartanburg), Tom Corbin (R-Greenville), Shane Martin (R-Spartanburg), & Danny Verdin (R-Laurens) joined us in casting only six dissenting votes.