Fearing cuts in Federal spending, Exxon Mobil is moving its operations out of Fairfax, taking 2,100 jobs with it. It has had a presence in the area for 30 years, when Mobil first moved in, and will look to sell its 118-acre Merrifield campus.
The county has added several major corporations over the past few years, including Hilton, Northrop Grumman, and Volkswagen, but those created only a bit more than half the jobs Exxon Mobil is taking away.
Is this a portent of things to come? Northern Virginia and the rest of the DC area hasn’t been hit as hard as the rest of the county, as the Washington Post explains, but that might change:
But the region’s relative good fortune may be ending now as concerns about federal deficits grow larger. The government has already scaled back or canceled many military and technology programs, and area business leaders fear worse after the presidential election, when lawmakers must again confront decisions about taxes and spending levels.
Currently, automatic spending cuts called for under the sequestration process, totaling more than $1 trillion over about a decade, are set to start in January, with half coming out of the defense budget.
Gov. McDonnell has been working with the company over the past two years to try to stop the move, but was eventually unsuccessful — although keeping the company here for those two years undoubtedly helped the NoVa economy weather the economic storm.
Quote the Post: “We’ve actually been fortunate that they have delayed their decision and we were able to keep them here for a couple years to keep that presence here,” McDonnell said.
Thanks to a low tax rate and a variety of loopholes, from 2010 to 2011 Exxon Mobil earned $9.91 billion and, once Federal subsidies were taken into account, paid $39 million in US taxes — an effective rate of about half a percent.