Where is Boeing headquarters? | Taking Stock

By Tim Raetzloff | Dec 04, 2013

I looked at SEC filings for Boeing this week. These may be found online at: http://www.sec.gov/cgi-bin/browse-edgar?CIK=ba&Find=Search&owner=exclude&action=getcompany

For 12 years, Boeing has continued to use PO Box 3707 (sound like Boeing?), MS 1F 31 (that is a mailstop) Seattle, WA 98124 as the business address when Boeing files with the SEC. Boeing uses an address in Chicago as the mailing address.

Why? And do other companies do this? I checked a few hundred companies. Of those there were six that use a post office box that is different than the business address.

Of those, five are in the same zip code and one is in the same city but with a different zip code. Four list business addresses and not a mailing address.

One lists a mailing address and no business address. One company lists a mailing address and lists their phone number as their business address – upon checking, the phone number is listed at the same address as their mailing address.

No other company uses a mailing address 2,000 miles from the business address. Boeing does. Why?

Maybe Scott Drenkard and Joseph Henchman of the Tax Foundation know why.

Drenkard and Henchman have released their report "2014 State Business Tax Climate Index."

In the report, they list the best and worst states for business taxes. The results may surprise many in Washington.

Washington is the No. 6 most tax friendly state on the list. Illinois is at No. 31. South Carolina comes in at No. 37. You may check the entire list at: http://taxfoundation.org/article/2014-state-business-tax-climate-index

Authors Drenkard and Henchman discuss the temptation that states face in attempting to lure industry.

"State lawmakers are always mindful of their states’ business tax climates but they are often tempted to lure business with lucrative tax incentives and subsidies instead of broad-based tax reform.

“This can be a dangerous proposition, as the example of Dell Computers and North Carolina illustrates. North Carolina agreed to $240 million worth of incentives to lure Dell to the state.

“Many of the incentives came in the form of tax credits from the state and local governments. Unfortunately, Dell announced in 2009 that it would be closing the plant after only four years of operations.

“A 2007 USA Today article chronicled similar problems other states are having with companies that receive generous tax incentives.

“Lawmakers create these deals under the banner of job creation and economic development, but the truth is that if a state needs to offer such packages, it is most likely covering for a woeful business tax climate.

“A far more effective approach is to systematically improve the business tax climate for the long term so as to improve the state’s competitiveness. " (Excerpt quoted with permission by Scott Drenkard.)

I talked to the former CFO of one of the biggest companies in the country and the CEO of one of the largest companies in Washington to ask why Boeing would do this.

They don't know why any more than I do, and Boeing isn't offering explanations. Maybe somebody at Boeing just forgot to change the address on the records that they file with the U.S. government. That could happen.

A more plausible reason is that the tax climate in Washington is so much better than Illinois that it is cost-efficient for Boeing to continue to list its business address as Washington.

That is really about the only reason that any company would use a mailing address 2,000 miles from its business address.

Tim Raetzloff, who operates Abarim Business Computers at Harbor Square in Edmonds, evaluates Puget Sound business activity in his regular column in the Beacon. In the interests of full disclosure he says, “Neither I nor Abarim have any interest in or conflict with any company mentioned in this column.”

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