General Electric will announce Thursday that it plans on relocating to Boston, officials in Massachusetts confirmed.
The company has made no-bones about its dislike of Connecticut’ tax policies, citing the state’s overall tax burden as the reason for the move — which has been in the works since last summer.
The Nutmeg State is ranked as one of the country’s highest taxed states, according to the Tax Foundation’s 2016 State Business Tax Climate Index. The tax research group ranked Connecticut 44th among all 50 states in property taxes, 33rd corporate taxes, and 36th in individual income taxes.
“GE wasn’t looking for a deal,” Rep. John Frey, a Massachusetts Republican, told reporters.
He added: “They just wanted the taxes that were imposed to go away. They didn’t go away entirely. They were hoping that that the root cause – unfunded pensions – would be addressed, and they weren’t. Their confidence in Connecticut government was shaken.”
Along with Connecticut’s high tax rates, GE CEO Jeff Immelt also cited Boston’s attractive innovation and technology hub, as well as the city’s proximity to the country’s top-tier academic institutions as reasons for the move.
“GE aspires to be the most competitive company in the world,” Immelt said in a press statement released Wednesday.
“Today, GE is a $130 billion high-tech global industrial company, one that is leading the digital transformation of industry. We want to be at the center of an ecosystem that shares our aspirations. Greater Boston is home to 55 colleges and universities. Massachusetts spends more on research & development than any other region in the world, and Boston attracts a diverse, technologically-fluent workforce focused on solving challenges for the world. We are excited to bring our headquarters to this dynamic and creative city,” the statement added.
GE’s move to Boston comes off the coat tails of the company’s announcement in September it plans on moving 500 jobs to Europe as a result of Congress’s inability to keep the Export-Import Bank, an exotic governmental financing tool businesses use when starting ventures overseas.
The move “will hurt the state of Connecticut and Fairfield and the surrounding areas a lot more than it will hurt GE,” Sen. Tony Hwang, a Connecticut Republican, said about the move.
The affect GE’s relocation will have on Connecticut’s economy and real estate properties, Hwang said, “are hard to calculate.”
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