Missouri Taxpayers Give Boehringer a $100K "Thank You" Check

Last Updated Sep 14, 2009 10:01 PM EDT

St. Joseph's, Mo., (pop. 73,912) will give Boehringer Ingelheim $100,000 just to hang around. BI already operates Vetmedica, its animal drug unit, in the town. But the Chamber of Commerce has persuaded the taxpayers of Buchanan County to reward the company for expanding, according to the St. Joe News:
The money is a "forgivable loan," broken into $20,000 increments from the county. For each year Boehringer stays at the shell building, it will get another $20,000 for up to five years.
As BNET readers know, drug companies are masters at persuading the suburban towns they nestle in to give or offer them taxpayers' money. It's a sort of socialism for Big Pharma. Bayer, Pfizer, Sanofi-Aventis and Sepracor have all been offered or given tax incentives recently to stay in business by the towns that host them (see story ladder below). Sanofi and Pfizer, to their credit, didn't take them.

George Heidgerken, Boehringer's chief operating officer, said:

It's an easy investment decision when you have a community putting up some money and helping us expand ... It really, really tells us that the community and the local government are engaged in being a team in helping companies like us be more successful.
Separately, if Jersey City, N.J., or Hudson County would like to show their commitment to CBS and its drug news operations in the area, I would also "really, really" be willing to accept a $100,000 subsidy.