Engineering graduates now have a $5,000 reason to work in Oklahoma under the state’s new engineering work force bill.
As of today, an engineer hired by an Oklahoma aerospace company is eligible for a $5,000 tax credit per year for five years. For engineers hired earning $100,000 or less, that essentially means they won’t pay income taxes for at least five years.
All aerospace companies need engineers so any kind of incentive is a "great thing,” said Ben Robinson, site director for Boeing in Oklahoma City.
"We all intend to use the bill to incentivize our young people to stay in Oklahoma and go into the aerospace industry,” he said.
It’s also a recruitment tool companies can use to lure engineers from other states, said Victor Bird, director of the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission.
The tax credit can be carried over year to year to zero out the employee’s tax liability.
Though the tax credit is the most important incentive in the bill, it offers other incentives for aerospace companies.
If an aerospace company hires an engineer who graduated from an Oklahoma university, the company is eligible for a 10 percent tax credit on that employee’s salary. If the engineer graduated from an out-of-state school, the company can get a 5 percent credit.