Maryland wins the battle to keep Mary out for moving to Virginia but is the victory worth the cost. Plus a rare glimpse at the Golden Age of jazz along but you have a new. You.
Know. Good evening everyone. Some major developments tonight in Maryland's effort to keep a hotel giant from leaving the state.
The Mariana corporation won't be checking out after all the hotel company today accepted an incentive package from the state of Maryland and will keep its headquarters here.
Marriott has thirty five hundred workers at its Bethesda headquarters they pulled out an average sixty seven thousand dollars a year. The state of Virginia offered 6 million dollars of Mary I would cross the Potomac Maryland countered with a reported 58 million dollars in tax breaks and other incentives. Late today we spoke with Governor Glendening in Marriott's chairman after they made the announcement in Annapolis.
We're committed to staying in Maryland. Considering moving our headquarters to another state.
We're going to stay in Montgomery County and we're going to stay in Maryland we're going to expand our headquarters and expand our workforce. How was that decision made. Well we carefully evaluated the opportunities in the various communities and we talked openly with the state of Maryland and we presented our case to them for. Their needs that we had to make camp Maryland competitive with Virginia to level the playing field so to speak and we were upfront with them on all our information. They agreed with their information and they came in with a very compelling II commitment to us over the next several years to allow us to continue to do business in the state where we all live in a state where we love Governor Glendening if I could ask you what what is Maryland's commitment now to the Marriott Corporation.
We've put together a very aggressive package and they still have to make a final decision of three sites within a month every county so it will vary about each of those sites. But it's about 2 million dollars a year for the duration of the agreement. I might add in saying that the key is right now about eighty five hundred jobs in Maryland as a result of the Marriott Corporation. Thirty five hundred of those jobs are in the headquarters. The average salary is sixty seven thousand dollars a year. They will add another 700 jobs there each year. The Marriott from the headquarters alone pays about 20 million dollars in taxes income taxes as a result of this deal being twenty two million dollars this is a tremendous investment for Maryland taxpayers for a member of the economy and we're just tickled to have of course that's a first class internationally known corporation.
After reviewing alternatives say the best place to business is right here in Maryland I'm sure the news reports on this had put the total price tag of the state's package in the range of 50 plus million dollars. Was that not accurate.
That was higher than we needed to do. We do have a good state local package here. And again it will vary a little bit depending on which of the three month Emery County locations they decide in final form. But any one of the three it averages about two million dollars a year for about a 14 year 15 year agreement is to marry out the.
Initial reports press reports on the Virginia package put the figure at about six million dollars. I don't know if you can comment on whether that's accurate and whether that was was tempting enough to get you to consider Virginia.
Well we considered for JR very very hard and we looked at the six million that was offered in addition to the various tax differences between the two states and the cost of doing business and the state of Maryland leveled the playing field and when they dead we decided to stay in Maryland to what extent was the playing field not level to begin with and in what way was I when I was to the press it was about a 40 million dollar difference between the two states. Maybe you could you can flesh that out a bit and I really I really can't give you all the information on that because I don't have it I just was told the R-value over 20 years is about two million dollars a year which was a 40 million dollars that was a difference between the two states.
OK I guess what I'm curious about is whether that's to the individuals individual employees if that was to the corporate bottom line that we're talking about those numbers. That was the overall benefit to the company. OK. Governor Glendening does this sort of package open the door for other Maryland companies to try to start a bidding war between neighboring states over or over where headquarters is going to be located.
Well we've got to realize is what it was at stake here. The payroll right now from the headquarters alone is about one hundred eighty nine million dollars a year. There are thirty five one hundred employees currently in Maryland at the headquarters and I said with with an average salary sixty seven thousand. And so this is an extraordinary opportunity of which quite candidly you do not find these comparable situations anyplace in the state. Again I would emphasize that the expansion of the 700 additional as well as the new headquarters facilities is a significant additional investment. This is probably from all of our analysis. One of the best economic incentive investments that Marilyn has made in a good number of years in terms of the return the number of jobs the quality of jobs the state local revenues they're paid plus two other factors real quickly. One is those thirty five hundred employees because I've talked to a lot of my seeing them on the streets I see in the churches in communities. We're concerned about the dislocation about moving to another state about what happens to children one gentleman actually said I don't want to start a new mortgage I just paid off my mortgage. And the other part is having the corporate headquarters here. Marriott has been both as an individual. Bill has been very supportive and Marriott Corporation has of numerous charities and community based groups throughout the state and that's part of the larger picture we look at as well so overall it's a tremendous investment for the state of Maryland.
Sort of you you agree with the idea that that absent this sort of package the playing field between Maryland and Virginia is is not level and in some way.
Well we happen to think it's very very level simply because of the additions that you get in terms of quality the workforce and the education and so on but I also understand that a corporation has to look at a real bottom line analysis. We made sure that we were very aggressive in his area with a good resolution.
Do you need legislative approval for any of this.
We will need some legislative approval however all of the list of leaders where their key committee chairs were there the speaker of the House the president Senate have expressed their strong support. And it's very very clear there's just overwhelming support for for this particular. Business transaction.
Governor what one more question for you there was some talk about adding highway interchanges as part of this. I don't know if this site selection has been made if you can comment at this point but is is that going to be necessary and how might that fit into the the traffic congestion problem especially in the Rockville area. That's where we're headed.
There are some road improvements that have already been scheduled in all three locations whether buried was there or not those look at those improvements would have been done. We will be proceeding with them on the one location route that we may move it up a couple of years to accommodate this but there is no real financial impact on our overall program. Those are already programs that are there.
Mr. Marriott you've mentioned that the majority of your employees are Marylanders What is their reaction been to this decision.
The one there is 70 percent of our employees are living in Maryland the ones that work at headquarters.
And I would have to say they're delighted. All right Mr. Marriott Governor Glendening Thanks to both of you for joining us tonight on NEWSNIGHT Maryland. Thank you very much. Now is this a good deal for the state of Maryland joining us tonight or Terrio hara the editor of The Baltimore Business Journal and Isaiah Leggett the president of the Montgomery County Council. They're here to talk with us and take your phone calls the number of be on the screen if you'd like to join our discussion Mr. Leggett if I can begin with you from the perspective of the Montgomery County Council.
Is this worth the cost. I certainly think so. We have. An outstanding cooperation here I described it earlier today as the Michael Jordan of the corporate world not only in terms of the actual number of employees of the tax base that it provides but also Marriott has been a strong volunteer within the community. It has been a strong part in many of our community endeavors. And so to the degree that you have a corporation that has provided employees a sizable tax base for us and a very strong partner within the community I think that we have hit a home run here today.
What can you tell us about the numbers involved and the county's share of that cost. Well certainly the numbers will be dictated by the actual selection site.
There are some indications that we will have the pin up on the site selection. The city of rock we don't involve this well. And so once we look at the local portion of this we are talking a significant package that probably will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 to 20 million dollars. That's not in terms of direct incentives but things that will be provided over a substantial period of time. Essentially 20 years.
Terry you've written a number of columns on this maybe you can share with our readers our viewers who aren't readers what your thoughts are.
I think one of the things that is getting lost and in the whole events of the last couple days especially today is a sort of a bigger picture. Look at this. Two things why Mary felt like Maryland was not a good place to do business as compared to Virginia. That's one thing and the second thing is why is Virginia and Maryland competing for one corporation why aren't they working regionally. There are number of things that have come out in this whole thing that Mary had said told The Washington Post at one point that he felt that doing business in Maryland for Marriott was about 40 million dollars more expensive than doing business in Virginia. That number has been completely on an alliance has been completely unjustified. In order for us to have a good debate about economic development why aren't those. Why aren't those things being discussed why isn't the governor and its economic development apparatus of the state led by Mike Lewan who is the head of the department Business and Economic Development who did a very good job keeping Mary out. But I'd like to see them do a better job leveling that playing field.
Let me read something to you that was faxed to essentially this is a statement from half a dozen state legislators critical of the deal. We believe that the tax system in Maryland has structural faults. These ought to be corrected generically not because some rich corporation or individual has decided to try to blackmail the state into special treatment.
Mr. Leggett Well I think yes and I think that's an overstatement.
We can look at for example at the state of Virginia which allegedly has a better climate for in fact businesses even the state of business and even the state of Virginia decided that they need to provide some additional incentives over and above whatever it is that they provided terms with a normal tax incentive program. Secondly you have to look at this from a from a strong stand point of view of what marriage actually wanted. They had a fiduciary responsibilities to their employees to their stockholders and when they looked at this this package turned out to be one that I think was appropriate for the for for Marriott. In addition the question that we have to keep in mind here is this is that when you look at the bottom line the bottom line here I think that you can make a very strong case that Maryland certain is moving in the direction to become much more business friendly. And I think that you've got to look at each case on a case by case basis so I think the statement that have been made that have been made here is probably over overly aggressive and not in reality to what is happening on the street today let's take a phone call Chuck is on the line from and around the county.
Chuck go ahead with your question.
Well I'm glad that Mariette decided to see him but I'm concerned that this may start a trend that companies in Maryland that have been established may say hey they got a good deal we want to get you to. I'm going to go back a year or two to Fredo way where they said unless you repeal the snack tax on snack foods we're not going to expand the facility. What's to say that Black and Decker in Baltimore is going to say well you know costs are too high in Baltimore. We're going to move to North Carolina. Unless we get some incentives and I just want to get your reaction to that idea.
Thanks very much I mean all these common companies Terry.
Have a good bit of leverage with the state and that that is the exact problem that Whalen has it does not negotiate from a position of strength in these types of things. Virginia Virginia has done a great many things in terms of dealing both at the municipal level the county level and the state level to make the environment not only less expensive but much easier much easier to expand much easier to build facilities to expand a business in Virginia and Maryland simply hasn't done. I want to serve.
I think that it is true that the businesses may look with the same kind of arrangement. But if we are prepared to look aggressively at these business and look at it in terms of the bottom line I think that we stand can step to the plate even if we're talking about individual companies because I don't think the the playing field between Virginia and Maryland is that great signify that we have to do something that is so unusual.
You talked before about doing it on a case by case basis and wouldn't we be better off if we weren't playing this poaching game with with Virginia or instead it must pain the governor to spend all this money on a corporation instead of spending it on the number of social causes that he he'd like to fund.
But my point is I think you're going to have to do both and that's decisive precisely would be genuine. They're not only providing a better base allegedly but they're also competing over and above that. And so the point that that you're making that if you simply provided a greater incentive you would not have to buy the additional sinners above that. I'm saying Virginia's doing precisely that. They provided incentives over and above what is currently in their current state and I got to wonder why.
I mean what's the unemployment rate in northern Virginia and what's Montgomery County's unemployment rate. We're fighting over a jobs that at a point where there are plenty of jobs. But had we lost Marriott what would be the story today. Story would be some vacant office is not a test of rage rage. It's going to let me ask you this do you think they were credible threats to leave with Mr. Merry out saying that 70 percent of the workers live in Maryland with the governor saying that he heard from from employees saying that they didn't want to move they didn't want to have to either commute across the Legion Bridge or start new new mortgages in Virginia.
Your marriage is an outstanding individual and I think that he negotiated professionally looking at his company and his producer responsibility and he had to take the offer which you knew quite quite seriously and so we had to act on the belief that they would in fact move and I had no belief whatsoever that they were simply trying to play one on one jurisdiction off. You know before we go does anything have to be passed by the council to enable this and do you envision any trouble there. I don't visit any trouble because all along this process we've looked at it's given our county executive authority to go for what we have to do locally. But we would have to now go forward and act on those certain things now see IP. But I think that we have the votes in support to do that.
Terry in the 20 seconds we have is there another shoe to drop after this that you see how I think so I think just just way more companies will step up to the bat and step up to the plate and ask for a Senate's absolutely General Motors next on THE LIST. That's a good that's good.
All right thanks very much for thank us tonight and next Thursday on Marilyn money we will take on the Y2K problem.
Our experts will answer your questions and get ready for a magical trip back in time along the avenue. Next on NEWSNIGHT Marilyn the golden age of jazz in our state of the arts. We'll be right back.
In the news today. The Maryland Senate voted today to prohibit health insurers from putting restrictions on a patient's right to call Nine one one. The bill was prompted by reports Kaiser Permanente planned its own system. A new study by the League of Women Voters says it's possible the Washington area could be under water restrictions by 2015. That's 20 years earlier than in the worst case scenario laid out just four years ago. An environmental coalition is offering suggestions to improve quality of life in Washington. Among the recommendations plant 5000 trees every year along city streets and reduced sewer overflows.
Imagine 100 years of history hidden and forgotten. Such was the case with a history of African-American music in Maryland. That is until recently when the Peabody archives organized a special exhibit that opened at the Enoch Pratt library in Baltimore.
It was called simply the avenue a short series of blocks of Baltimore's Pennsylvania Avenue from Biddle street to North Avenue.
I guess it's almost like I have a lot of people and crowded every night.
All we have the avenue we have clubs almost like a nice block most like most of the headbands we have musician would like to go different places you know that was the black Mecca.
We had control.
It was indeed a magical time for Pennsylvania.
A golden age of jazz stretching from the end of World War 1 until desegregation and in the middle of it all. The famed Royal Theatre. This period of musical history as well as the years leading up to it are remembered for the first time in a special exhibit called The storm is passing over.
I found out that there was this whole parallel musical universe that I really knew nothing at all about. And. There was a symphony orchestra. There were recitals going on of classical music. There were there were oratory I was going on in the churches and. And then there were obituaries song musicians who had had a long and distinguished career.
Well for many of these musicians especially the classically trained musicians there were no recordings made. And for them when the music stopped it was all over one of the most famous ones. JACK THOMAS When he retired I mean here was a man who created all the colored park bands who was a. Teacher the first African-American to conduct the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in the 1940s.
There were people like composer Charles Albert tenderly who in the early 1900s pioneered the gospel hymn and jazz virtuoso Eubie Blake and the incomparable Cab Calloway.
It was quite a variety of people I mean you had people like Chick Webb and Billie Holiday who were just born with talent and had very little in the music way of musical training. And it it just poured out of them.
Among them trumpeter Roy McCoy. Whose love affair with the trumpet began the moment he saw the master play.
Louis Armstrong the same one that. Did it this way I'm going to play that.
I paid for that I'll start off to the first big guy with the Millbrook. Amazing stuff. Billie Holiday the place the bill the whole goal was to get big and just come in the club and play in the race to become the. Caller said to me that he won this thing.
And we play him for a while at the Royal Roy also performed with Lionel Hampton's orchestra as did bass player Charles Harris.
We also pay for a lot of places. That blacks couldn't come to know what was it like playing in houses where black people couldn't. It will take but you took the job that you can make some money with most of those places paid a lot of money.
In fact this exhibit also tells the story of the hate filled Jim Crow laws of segregation laws that tried to smother the talents of so many African-American men and women but only succeeded in making that talent stronger and brighter.
Whether in black churches or the clubs and theaters on the Avenue because the places are often where they would have 18 people as 18 guys work with rage enough.
During that era perhaps people did not attach the importance of significance to your house and the travelling bag. But let me tell you the house musicians had to be better.
Had to be better than the Previn music. Because they had the rhythm player.
Not too long ago at the opening reception for the storm is passing over some of the avenues living legends got a chance to get together to make new memories and to remember the old ones. One of my fondest memories of course was.
Just playing with a couple of them and I sit there and wait with him for. 14 and a half years and never had a cross word with me. Related very musical Well that one spoke above a whisper. You know those days everybody was. Training with all the learning that I had to do these things and I should progress. You play them you wind up you go from being so. In my area I was able to play with Tracey.
Can talk and we had a lot of good musicians that and. A lot of money going on.
That's the be you know when you go through that I'll bet I was able to do what I was doing. Because I knew it was the best at the time.
They were magic. And some of that magic is captured here in this exhibit where talent and destiny merge.
And this exhibit runs until March 26 at the Pratt library but it's going to be traveling around the state and to Washington D.C. through October in the year 2000 the Peabody Institute has the faces and the names rather the times.
Thanks for watching Newsnight Maryla tonight tomorrow when our state circle edition will explore the struggling third racing industry some say the state needs to level the playing field for new investors.
This transcript is machine-generated and has not been corrected. It is likely there will be errors.
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