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Friday, April 20, 2001 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Illinois governor preparing incentives package to woo Boeing

The Associated Press

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Gov. George Ryan said today he is preparing a package that includes "$4 million or $5 million" in state tax incentives to help persuade Boeing to move its headquarters to Chicago.

"These folks don't need a lot of incentives," Ryan told reporters at a luncheon gathering at the Executive Mansion.

Ryan disputed a report in the Chicago Sun-Times that said, according to legislative sources, the governor was preparing a plan worth up to $50 million to Boeing.

The package Ryan discussed would kick in under a proposed Corporate Headquarters Relocation Act that specifies its benefits are intended for a business with $25 billion in annual worldwide sales, including at least 250 headquarters employees, that would relocate its main offices to Illinois.

Boeing could receive for 15 years of state income tax credits for creating jobs, under a copy of the proposal obtained by The Associated Press from legislative sources. Current law limits the so-called "EDGE" tax credit to 10 years.

The company could also avoid as much as 100 percent of local property taxes for as long as 20 years. But whether such local deals would occur would depend on local government officials.

"They'd have to make their own deal on that," Ryan said. "We don't get involved with that."

Boeing may also receive annual state grants to cover eligible moving costs, with amounts dependent on a variety of factors, according to the proposal's outline.

Under no circumstances could the company over the years receive relocation reimbursements totaling more than half of its actual moving-related costs.

Boeing would be eligible to get annual state grants equal to half of the aggregate amount of the individual income taxes paid to the state by the company's relocated headquarters employees.

Boeing could continue receiving the annual grants until it either recoups its eligible relocation costs or 10 years passes, whichever comes first.

Boeing last month announced plans to move its corporate offices from Seattle to Chicago, Denver or Dallas-Fort Worth. A decision is expected in May and the move should be finished by September.

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