GE to give back $87 million it got from the state because it no longer plans an ambitious Fort Point headquarters

WBUR reports on what happens when your company shrinks like spinach in a frying pan. But don't worry, what's left of GE will still call Boston home.

Neighborhoods: 

Topics: 

Free tagging: 

Ad:

Comments

I love a good laugh out loud headline

Great work Chuck and Marty! Maybe they can use the money on an Amazon redo? Oh, wait, they just opted to pull out of NYC and conveniently halve their HQ2 commitment in the process.

Are we ready to elect leadership with vision instead of delusion yet?

up
Voting is closed. 26

The fact that the Mayor’s

The fact that the Mayor’s office didn’t have the biz wherewithal to project the prospects of GE (lack there of) when making this deal is concerning to say the least

up
Voting is closed. 16

And you saw the decline of GE coming?

By on

I will proudly say that local government did have the wherewithal to structure the deal so that we were not completely hosed when things went south.

Sometimes things work out and sometimes they don't. There are cities across the country with taxpayer funded stadia sitting empty when the franchises for which they were built decided to move, or to get another jurisdiction in the area to build them a newer, shinier stadium. Boston does not have that.

up
Voting is closed. 31

Do you or Marty still think...

By on

Jack Welch is the CEO of a huge holding company? GE has been in decline for over a decade.

up
Voting is closed. 7

happiest person in Boston:

By on

Jack Welch's first wife? She got out when GE was more valuable.

up
Voting is closed. 0

Ummm

By on

The city was never going to recoup $87 million in tax revenue and economic spending.

up
Voting is closed. 6

But it did recoup the $87 million

By on

Look at the title of this article.

Other than that, we are talking theoreticals. Was the Liberty Mutual tax break a good idea? I think that can be quantified.

up
Voting is closed. 11

Yes

By on

Former GE Employee. So yea, I saw this coming.

up
Voting is closed. 9

Question

By on

What was the original cause of the decline before the hits kept coming?

up
Voting is closed. 0

Keep it Simple, Stupid.

By on

The diversity of their product offering go too large. They were not able to keep up the quality in all 10s of offerings than what they are able to offer in say airplane engines. This especially ran true when they began dealing with healthcare as a service offering, not a product. They should stick to what they do best, and do it to the optimal performance.

Not all baseball players are like Mookie and can bowl in professional leagues or had offerings to play basketball in college; specialization is healthy for business productivity.

up
Voting is closed. 3

My understanding

By on

At least the original HUGE financial hit was due to actuarial and accounting errors from their Long Term Care insurance business, without which they are still hurting but probably a $25-$30 stock instead of a $10 stock. The point is - anyone that "saw this coming" and didn't figure out how to short the living crap out of the stock is full of crap. Buy since this problem was invisible even to the executives at least based on what we know so far - nobody "saw this coming".

up
Voting is closed. 1

That's funny

By on

When it was announced, I don't recall any of the reporters at the Globe, Herald, or the TV media noting that GE was a failing company. The only thing I remember was people questioning giving out the tax breaks to a wealthy company. That would seem to be a far cry from the masses knowing that GE would be shedding employees and business to the level it did.

But feel free to cite some circa January 2016 articles that note that GE is a failing company. I look forward to reading them.

up
Voting is closed. 10

Nope

By on

GE existed before Welch, and it existed 15 years after that article was published, as it still exists today, 18 years later.

up
Voting is closed. 0

Waquiet

Van Halen existed before Sammy Hagar, and it exists 22 years later. However, nobody in their right mind was lining up to buy tickets during the Gary Cherone days. That’s who Jeff Immelt was...Gary freaking Cherone.

up
Voting is closed. 2

Bad analogy

By on

Roth was the man with Van Halen, but there was no one before him. GE was a blue chip company before Welch was born. That Van Halen was able to do anything in the Hagar era shows that GE’s death did not happen when Welch retired.

up
Voting is closed. 0

So...

By on

Per my post above - you now own your own archipelago of islands?

up
Voting is closed. 1

The decline of GE

By on

Has been fairly well known since Jack Welch retired. And the decline of GE is because of a lot of the stock price oriented decisions that lacked any sort of strategy or vision whatsoever that were made under Jack.

I'm hopeful they will turn it around.

up
Voting is closed. 8

Great timing!

By on

2-14-19.

Could not be funnier.

up
Voting is closed. 1

When Will Mayors Learn

By on

It's been proven that corporate tax breaks for HQ buildings and municipal funding for sports stadiums are two of the lowest return scams that cities can fall for.

up
Voting is closed. 22

It's great for Mayors, it's bad for citizens

The Mayors get invited to box seats at sports stadiums, get to throw out first pitches, get to host parades, hob knob with rich owners and bask in the glow of success.

The citizens pay for it. Less money for schools, roads, public transportation, etc.

When will the Citizen's Learn???

up
Voting is closed. 22

Never

Elect him again, you jerks. Just like you did with Menino.

up
Voting is closed. 6

Marty must be so ashamed

Maybe tonight the Mayor can talk a long walk in the desolate, decaying waterfront and dream of what could have been had only GE accepted his money.

When he gets cold it will be a quick drive home. With Boston shrinking workforce it's not like the roads are crowded.

up
Voting is closed. 3

Ashamed?

By on

The city just got $87 million in tax breaks back. Why would he be ashamed?

up
Voting is closed. 9

It's a joke

Although he really should be ashamed for offering up a single penny when Boston obviously has no problem attracting major employers to the city.

Even as stupid, pointless tax breaks go, GE was always a bad investment. The company is not the powerhouse it was decades ago. Their troubles are nothing new.

up
Voting is closed. 16

The job of any mayor in the US

By on

Is to attract business (amongst other jobs, like making sure public safety is taken care of.) If Boston were fleeced out of the $87 million, I'd see the point of the haters, but it looks like the deal was structured to reduce the city's liability. I'd once again say "job well done."

up
Voting is closed. 5

How about opportunity cost?

By on

How much time, effort, and expense was spent courting GE and creating the proposal to get them to move their HQ to Boston? What might other businesses have done with those tax break incentives? Was giving them to GE really the best use of the budget, even if we eventually got them back?

up
Voting is closed. 7

Opportunity cost?

By on

That would mean that Boston is as misguided as any of the hundreds of cities across the US that spent time, effort, and expense courting Amazon.

Since we have the $87 million (or more likely are not out the $87 million set aside) we can now go out and court other businesses. That's what cities across the country do.

up
Voting is closed. 4

An Excellent Corporate Citizen

By on

GE is being an excellent corporate citizen, they're doing the right thing by reimbursing the state.

up
Voting is closed. 7

Not so fast

They still haven't paid for their toxic waste damage to the Houstatonic River or the mess they left behind in Lynn.

up
Voting is closed. 32

Hey Swirls!

By on

My father (deceased) worked for GE for 35 years and retired from that company. He worked at West Lynn (Federal Street, for their GE-TAC operation) and then went to GE Aerospace (Fordham Road, Wilmington (which is now Ametek)) when GE/Federal Street ceased operations. The River Works facility (GE Aviation), which was separate from the West Lynn operation, is still in business, BTW. I'm not aware of any "mess" that GE left behind in Lynn.

I'm damn proud that my father worked for GE, his job and that company provided for us.

I will never speak ill of, or disparage GE.

up
Voting is closed. 0

Good for your Dad

I'm glad that he had a great career.

But do you want to pay for the damage that GE did to the Houstatonic River? Do you think taxpayers should pay to clean up these dangerously toxic messes that GE left behind just because your dad was happy?

As a taxpayer, I want GE to pay every goddamn dime that it takes to clean up what they illegally dumped. https://www.epa.gov/ge-housatonic/cleaning-housatonic

up
Voting is closed. 8

You need to read better

I mentioned LYNN as a SECOND SITE IN MA that GE messed up.

I said, above "They still haven't paid for their toxic waste damage to the Houstatonic River or the mess they left behind in Lynn."

If you can't sort that out you might want to update your glasses.

up
Voting is closed. 3

I'll give you half

By on

But you seemed to try to refute someone's issue with Lynn by bringing up Pittsfield again. Lynn is still a functioning asset to the company, and you have get to show that they are anything but a valued member of the community in Lynn (as opposed to Pittsfield or the communities along the Hudson they polluted.)

up
Voting is closed. 0

You know what?

I'm trying to figure out what in the hell you are going on about.

I know weed is legal now, but take it easy there - you are raving and rambling about shit you made up in your head.

up
Voting is closed. 1

Let's look at the tape

By on

You wrote-

They still haven't paid for their toxic waste damage to the Houstatonic River or the mess they left behind in Lynn.

Someone defended GE Lynn, and you snapped back at them, again citing the Housatonic fiasco, but not actually adding to the discussion on Lynn. I believe, when it comes to your assertion on Lynn, "you are raving and rambling about shit you made up in your head."

Look, I know weed is legal now, but you should take it easy with the bud.

up
Voting is closed. 0

yeah, right

Substantially complete after years of GE stalling, whining, and delaying.

Sorry. Not buying the "good corprorate citizen" propagandistic bullshit mantra here.

Try again with somebody who wasn't born until 2000.

up
Voting is closed. 2

GE contaminated both Lynn AND the Housatonic

By on

GE was such a sloppy and destructive company they contaminated sites at both ends of the state, But whats a few deaths for higher profits!

up
Voting is closed. 2

Uh, sure, It's out of the goodness of GE's Heart

By on

er...what heart.

I think you mean GE is compelled to give the money back to avoid costly lawsuits that they would inevitably lose. GE, or likely any corporation, doesn't do ANYTHING because it is the "right thing to do".

For example:

1. Even during their wildly "profitable" years they never paid significant income tax.
2. Their shady financial practices contributed to the financial meltdown, then they lied to investors, their employees, and the public about their exposure while it was going on, all the while quietly pocketing taxpayer bailout money.
3. They fought the government for years on paying for their environmental disasters like the Housatonic river PCB pollution.

Source: former GE employee

up
Voting is closed. 17

GE pays taxes

By on

GE paid 2.4 billion in taxes in 2017, 7.4 billion in 2016, 2.5 billion in 2015.

up
Voting is closed. 2

"GE incurred a total federal income tax bill of less than zero"

By on

From 2008-2015.

Although the top corporate rate is 35 percent, hardly any company actually pays that. The report, by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a left-leaning research group in Washington, found that 100 of them — nearly 40 percent — paid no taxes in at least one year between 2008 and 2015. Eighteen, including General Electric, International Paper, Priceline.com and PG&E, incurred a total federal income tax bill of less than zero over the entire eight-year period — meaning they received rebates. The institute used the companies’ own regulatory filings to compute their tax rates.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/09/business/economy/corporate-tax-report...

In 2016 and 2017 GE also paid no income taxes https://www.stock-analysis-on.net/NYSE/Company/General-Electric-Co/Analy...

Maybe you are trying to move the goal posts to something other than income tax? But since you don't have a source...

up
Voting is closed. 11

Nope

By on

1 year does not make up for a net BENEFIT for 8 years, including 2015. Or maybe you missed that.

The point is, GE is a corporation engaging in shady financial shenanigans to get out of paying taxes, like all corporations.

up
Voting is closed. 5

This is a win for the state and city

By on

It proves they structured the deals to protect the taxpayer, and followed through as GE started to slow its roll.
It's still overall a win to get a pretty big company's HQ.

up
Voting is closed. 2

Loss for Baker and Walsh

By on

Not a great deal, the "HQ" will have 250 people the article says (eventually). Many companies that are much stronger than GE are based here and have much more than 250 people.
But dont worry, the Baker Globe will still run plenty of glowing articles about Baker and how any minute now hes going to do great, bold things.

up
Voting is closed. 7

Is the "Baker Globe" a

By on

Is the "Baker Globe" a different paper- or just a different edition of the "Warren Globe" I've been picking up the last several months?

up
Voting is closed. 3

It’s not quite a failure

By on

Not yet, at least.

They are restructuring. They are getting rid of some businesses that were not seen as vital to the mission of the company (see, television, Rail car manufacturing, and the like). It may work, or it may not. The short of it for Boston is that the expected workforce at headquarters will not be happening. That’s a downside, but the givebacks are the upside.

My source is a YouTube video I saw a few months back. I do own some stock in the company, so I am slightly worried about the future. We’ll see. Stock wise, I am seeing panic.

up
Voting is closed. 4

Boston as 2nd class city in a 2nd world nation?

By on

Considering that the nation is pushing to become a 2nd world nation it makes sense that Boston would bend over for a what apparently is not a 2nd rate holding company.

The governor, the mayor, and lord knows the MBTA, know that transportation from the Seaport to North Station is a farce. The # 4 bus is a solid example of self-destruction. The T claims the 4 has few people riding it but then they allow the line to be a farce by canceling buses or allowing buses to be 30 minutes late.

If this was only Boston then we could say the problem is the MBTA. But public transportation in many US major cities are treated as unwanted step children.

But transportation is fundamental. The digital revolution can not make transportation a secondary concern. Yet regions around the nation continue to maintain public transportation with an attitude of having to maintain the systems instead of seeing transportation as fundamentally health.

If we treat one of the main components of our urban infrastructure as an unwanted child then we condemn ourselves.

Tax credits to massive corporations is moving chairs on the deck of the Titanic if we don't deal with the fundamental weaknesses.

But so long as people such as Trump and McConnell control the national powers the nation is guaranteed to remain 2nd rate and continue devolving into a 2nd world nation.

In the 70s the Soviet Union and China were 2nd world and the US was 1st world. Thanks to the people of the lineage of Reagan and the party of the wealthy the positions are switching.

up
Voting is closed. 2

The #4 bus still exists?

By on

I was looking at the MBTA’s bus schedules from 1982 tonight. The T is much better now than then.

Perhaps the Seaport area would be better served if they ran buses at a high frequency from South Station to the Seaport area, perhaps in a tunnel to make sure they wouldn’t have to face traffic. One could dream, right? They could even give this tunnel bus line a color, like amber or ruddy or some other metallic color.

up
Voting is closed. 4

The Silver Line has plenty of issues

By on

(most notably overcrowding at many times of the day) but the original comment talked about access to North Station.

The private shuttle for businesses operated by the Convention Center Authority runs fairly frequently from the Seaport to North Station, but it is solely for the use of employees of those businesses, while others are not allowed to ride. The 4 is like a fisher cat -- rarely seen.

Until the ferries begin service to North Station later this year (still no word on how much the general public would have to pay) the only other public transit option is to take the aforementioned overcrowded Silver Line to South Station and then make two additional overcrowded transfers to get to North Station (or SL3 --> Airport Station Blue Line --> State Street Orange Line or Govt. Center Green Line --> North Station if you really want to get funky).

up
Voting is closed. 2

Wasn't there a plan to

By on

Wasn't there a plan to consolidate the corporate shuttles and open them to the public?

up
Voting is closed. 0

I can’t figure out

By on

The expectation that the T should have fast, frequent service between North Station and the Seaport. There are means to get from A to B. That Daan relies on the worst choice is on him, not the T.

up
Voting is closed. 1

Ferries will have limited

By on

Ferries will have limited seats for public. Like the private shuttles run by Mass Convention Authority that are just another example of corporate welfare.

up
Voting is closed. 2

This is why it is called

By on

This is why it is called SPECULATION.

Cheers to the greedy who will lose their shirts!!

up
Voting is closed. 0