What we've already done for American Airlines


Tulsans very reasonably feel we ought to show appreciation and concern for American Airlines, Tulsa's largest employer -- do everything to encourage them to stay and add jobs.

Tulsa has already done something significant. On June 25, the Tulsa Metropolitan Utility Authority approved $8 million worth of incentives for American Airlines, including water rate reductions, building a new sewer line to their maintenance facility, and buying a wheel and brake facility (the old Builders Square at I-244 and Memorial), which the airline would lease from the city for $1 a year.

Now the county is applying for a state Community Development Block Grant of $1 million to pay for infrastructure at American Airlines. And American may be eligible for up to $12 million in state "Quality Jobs" rebates.

If Tulsa County voters approve Proposition 2 on September 9, American Airlines would get an additional $22.3 million, on top of all these other incentives. My understanding is that rather than building something for them, Tulsa County taxpayers would just be writing American Airlines a check. (If I'm wrong, let me know.)

Meanwhile, American Airlines has been spending $8.6 million a year on arena naming rights in Dallas and Miami. American has been trying to renegotiate its contracts -- a 30-year, $195 million dollar agreement in Dallas, and a 20-year, $42 million agreement in Miami.

My understanding is that none of the incentives we're offering will reverse the concessions that American employees have made. The CDBG money is suppose to somehow reverse layoffs, but the Whirled story didn't really explain how.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on July 29, 2003 11:13 PM.

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