EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – A big deal involving millions in tax credits and incentives is on the table at the capital.
On Thursday, lawmakers were briefed on the deal between the state and Sikorsky-Lockheed Martin.
But is it a good deal for Connecticut taxpayers?
The legislator must sign the agreement in order for it to get the green light.
Sikorsky-Lockheed Martin has released its 5,000 Black Hawk helicopters for the US military. This helicopter was part of a 50-year franchise.
The company is now bidding on $80 billion in contracts to be the exclusive manufacturer of the next generation of military helicopters. They need state help.
George Mitchell, Sikorsky’s vice president of operations, said “we’re in competition.” The 20-year deal on the table supports 7,750 current jobs.
Sikorsky pledges to spend $470 million, with local manufacturers pledging $70 million in factory improvements. It retains the headquarters in Stratford until 2042.
The state provides a payroll tax refund and offsets sales and use taxes. The total incentives are $75 million. There is no state link involved.
“Based on performance, no bond required, no cash needed on day one. It will be earned and then maintained over time by Sikorsky-Lockheed Martin,” said David Lehman, the commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development.
Sikorsky has facilities in Stratford, Bridgeport, Shelton, North Haven and Trumbull, and has 242 suppliers in 70 Connecticut cities, such as HABCO in Glastonbury, which employs 100 engineers.
“The longer they stay in the state and the longer they’re here, the greater the benefits we get in our business,” said HABCO owner Brian Montanari.
The new deal builds on a 2016 $220 million deal with the state. Is the risk worth the reward?
Governor Ned Lamont defended the deal.
“I mean, the other competitors there in Texas, Texas also comes to the table. I want to make sure we do everything we can, you know, within reason to keep Sikorsky in the state for the next 50 years.
The deal is only triggered if Sikorsky wins the military contracts. Officials say the risk is on Sikorsky.
Paul Lavoie, state manufacturing manager, said, “If Sikorsky wins, Connecticut wins.”
Lawmakers vote on the $75 million deal next week.