The cost of landing Northrop Grumman's headquarters in tax breaks and other public assistance could exceed $25 million. So how have economic development officials in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., determined it's worth dangling that much before the military contractor's executives in the heated competition to lure this latest corporate plum from Los Angeles? Montgomery County conducted an analysis to estimate the direct fiscal impact of having Northrop's headquarters in the county, said Steven A. Silverman, director of the county's Department of Economic Development. That includes the income taxes from the company's 300 executives and property taxes on buildings the company would lease or own, he said.
"We don't do an indirect economic analysis, one where you try to determine how much 300 people with high-paying jobs will spend in the local economy," Silverman said. "A lot of that is intuitive. Those types of studies are easy to poke holes in."
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