California offers tax credits for aerospace as it battles Florida for jobs

Next-generation Long Range Strike aircraft concept

California lawmakers are working hard to ensure Northrop Grumman Corp., or team made up of the Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp., keep a giant share of work, expected to result from an upcoming Pentagon stealth bomber contract, on the West Coast.

Consider it part of California’s version of “Project Magellan.”

California Gov. Jerry Brown has on his desk legislation for a massive state tax credit – $420 million – intended to help create thousands for aerospace projects, like the ones that would come from the estimated $55 billion stealth bomber contract.

That bomber project has been linked to “Project Magellan” – an expansion by Northrop Grumman at Melbourne International Airport that could bring hundreds of new jobs to Brevard County that pay an average annual wage of $100,000.

Though the stealth bomber was never going to be built in Melbourne, some of the engineering and design work for the aircraft could be done on the Space Coast.

Officials said depending on business conditions — such as contracts — in the years ahead, Northrop Grumman wants to hit the next phase of its Melbourne expansion plan, which could mean 1,500 local jobs on top of 300 already coming.

According to a recent report by the Associated Press out of California:

– In July, California lawmakers grudgingly approved a $420 million tax credit that would benefit a joint bid being submitted by Boeing and Lockheed Martin. The governor signed the fast-tracked AB2389 into law after his office assured competitor Northrop Grumman Corp. that it would receive a similar deal.

– A California Senate bill expanded the tax credit to Northrop sailed through the Legislature this week, with a 32-4 vote on Wednesday The state Assembly approved the tax credit 73-0 Monday.


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