General Electric might relocate its headquarters of more than 40 years from Fairfield, Connecticut, to Washington, DC. Muriel Bowser has been in communication with General Electric CEO Jeffrey R. Immelt about the potential move, according to an administration official in the mayor’s office. The official says conversations between the mayor’s office and the company continued in early September, during a business meeting that was part of the Saudi King’s visit to Washington.
Several states have been trying to recruit the company, which employs about 800 people in Fairfield. On July 30, Andrew Cuomo visited General Electric executives in Connecticut and discussed incentives to lure them to New York’s Westchester County, Politico reported. Texas and Georgia are also on the drawing board.
These talks follow the Connecticut legislature’s decision to raise certain business taxes. Mature corporate headquarters typically pay an effective tax rate of 19 percent in Connecticut, according to a study recently released by the Tax Foundation. DC, by comparison, has an effective rate of 14.9 percent. (Georgia and Texas both have lower rates than DC, but New York’s is higher at 25.3 percent.)
General Electric declined to comment on individual site considerations, instead releasing a general statement: “We have formed an exploratory team to assess the company’s options to relocate corporate headquarters. The team is currently engaged in the process and is taking many factors into consideration. When there is a final decision on relocation, we will communicate it publicly.”
The company hopes to make a decision by the end of the year.