Cessna Asks For $25 Million In Incentives
Cessna’s heart may be in Kansas but its corporate wallet is on Wall Street and that’s what will determine where the new Columbus 850 will be built. The company, which claims to have $11 billion in backorders, wants $25 million in cash from the state to build the new plant, which will employ about 1,000 people. Municipal and county governments have already aproved incentives to keep the plant in Wichita and at least some state politicians are leaning that way. "We've got to take this very, very seriously," Sen. Jean Schodorf, R-Wichita told The Wichita Eagle. "How Cessna goes could be how the other aviation companies go." Cessna spokesman Jim Walters said the company has “all the bias of wanting to stay in Kansas,” but has to put the interests of its parent corporation, Textron, and its shareholders first.
Other states are lining up to lure the plant to their jurisdictions and most are offering far more than what Cessna is asking of Kansas. Wichita business and political leaders have started lobbying state officials to write the check. City Manager Ed Flentje told the Eagle the Columbus project “is an extraordinary opportunity and calls for an extraordinary effort.” Cessna is putting $800 million into developing the jet.