Donald P. "Rusty" Reed, Vice President, Business Development, South Carolina Power Team (June/July 10)
A Strategic Location
Another major advantage for Boeing and other aerospace companies in South Carolina is the strategic location midway between Miami and New York. A comprehensive intermodal transportation network - including the major port of Charleston, railroads, and aviation facilities - provides ready access to the East Coast and the rest of the world. South Carolina has more miles per capita of interstate highways than any other state, including the vital East Coast transportation corridor of I-95. UPS has its southeastern hub at the Columbia Airport, located in the center of the state. South Carolina's transportation infrastructure allows the aerospace industry to meet its unique transportation needs.
A Pro-Business Climate
When the Boeing announcement was made in South Carolina, many state and local officials pointed to the state's pro-business climate as a major attraction for manufacturers. Among the items sited were no state property tax, no local income tax, no inventory tax, no unitary tax on worldwide profits, and no sales tax on manufacturing machinery, industrial power, or materials for finished products. All state incentives are performance-based, including the Job Tax Credit, which can reduce the state's already low 5 percent corporate income tax by up to 50 percent based on job creation; and the Job Development Credit, which can allow companies to receive a rebate on a portion of new employee's withholding taxes that can be used for their specific infrastructure and facility improvements. In addition, local county councils have the authority to negotiate fees in lieu of taxes that can reduce a company's property tax by more than 50 percent for up to 20 years. The aforementioned CNBC "Top States for Business 2009" gives South Carolina the fifth-highest overall rating in the nation for the cost of doing business.
A May 2010 study by the Alliance for South Carolina's Future estimated that Boeing's South Carolina operations would add $6.1 billion annually to the state's economy. This would generate the creation of more than 15,000 jobs, including the 3,800 announced jobs that Boeing will create directly. These are two powerful incentives for South Carolina to build on its relationship with Boeing in its pursuit to be the East Coast hub of the aerospace industry.