Letter: No more tax breaks for Bath Iron Works

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Bath Iron Works Vice President and General Counsel John Fitzgerald has stated numerous times that BIW must remain profitable for General Dynamics to continue to invest in them. Over the past 20 years, General Dynamics has invested $400-$500 million in BIW. Fitzgerald was recently quoted saying that GD was investing an additional $100 million, whether the company received an additional tax break or not.

It is clear, based on what we’ve been told by BIW, that they have been profitable for the past 20 years, and will continue to be profitable going forward. This is bolstered by a significant backlog of work, plus new contracts to be awarded for 20 new frigates. BIW just received a $14.9 million contract for design work on the new class, and the Navy will certainly guarantee a number of ship awards to Bath.

Another fact that is clear is the needs of the state. Infrastructure is crumbling around us, health care and education are underfunded, friends and neighbors are hungry and can’t heat their homes. We are in the middle of an opioid crisis, and an expanding flu epidemic.

Legislators have a responsibility to address the needs of our people. Funding for infrastructure, health care, and education benefits not just the people, but also BIW, their subcontractors, and the small businesses that depend on them. The Legislature should vote no on more tax breaks for Bath Iron Works.

Jerry Provencher